Bioengineering Seminar Series

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday October 27, 2022
      11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Location: Petit Biotech Building, Suddath Seminar Room 1128 - 315 Ferst Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30332
  • Phone: 404-894-6228
  • URL:
  • Email:
  • Fee(s):
  • Extras:

Ankur Singh, Ph.D. - faculty host
Rose Brito - event inquiries


Summary Sentence: "Utilizing Synthetic Biology to Advance Therapeutics" - Tara Deans, Ph.D. - University of Utah

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"Utilizing Synthetic Biology to Advance Therapeutics" 

Tara Deans, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of Utah

To participate virtually, click HERE

Synthetic biology has transformed how cells can be reprogrammed, providing a means to reliably and predictably control cell behavior with the assembly of genetic parts into more complex synthetic gene circuits. Using these approaches, we are programming bacteria and stem cells with novel genetic tools to control genes and pathways that result in changes in their native function for desired outcomes. We have shown that by moving eukaryotic genetic parts to prokaryotes we can mass-produce therapeutic proteins beyond industry standards. We have also shown that megakaryocytes, the progenitor cells for platelets, can be loaded with non-native proteins to produce engineered platelets that can function as local and systemic delivery devices. 

Tara Deans is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Utah. During her Ph.D. at Boston University, Deans focused on synthetic biology in mammalian cells. During her graduate research, she developed a tunable genetic switch coupling repressor proteins and a novel RNAi target design to control gene expression levels. After her graduate work, Deans went to Johns Hopkins University for her postdoctoral fellowship where she sought an area of research with the greatest opportunity for translating synthetic biology into therapeutic applications. Her postdoctoral work focused on interfacing synthetic biology with biomaterials, in addition to working with stem cells for tissue engineering applications.

Deans now runs an applied mammalian synthetic biology laboratory where her lab focuses on building novel genetic tools to study the mechanisms of stem cell differentiation for the purpose of directing cell fate decisions. Recently, Deans received four prestigious awards to support this area of research: 1. the NSF CAREER Award, 2. the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award, 3. the NIH Trailblazer Award, and 4. the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. In addition to her research, Deans was named a STEM Ambassador in the STEM Ambassador Program (STEMAP) at the University of Utah to engage underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

The Bioengineering Seminar Series is co-hosted by the Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and they are open to all in the bio-community. 

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB), Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomedical Engineering

Invited Audience
Faculty/Staff, Postdoc, Public, Graduate students, Undergraduate students
go-bio, go-bioe-seminar
  • Created By: Colly Mitchell
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Aug 15, 2022 - 11:22am
  • Last Updated: Oct 24, 2022 - 12:48pm