The Silver Lab works at the interface between systems and synthetic biology to design and build biological systems in both mammalian and prokaryotic cells. We employ a wide range of approaches from computational to experimental – for example reconstructing entire new genomes. Our lab is an eclectic mix of students and postdocs from varied backgrounds that enjoy life in and out of the lab and work collaboratively. We seek to address ‘big’ unanswered questions that could have an impact on people and the world. We also take advantage of all that Boston has to offer in terms of collaborations, resources and fun.
We seek to both enhance our understanding of natural biological design, and to develop tools and concepts for designing cells, tissues and organisms. In the long term, we hope to develop principles for building synthetic cells that act as sensors, memory devices, bio-computers, producers of high value commodities and energy from the sun, and to build novel subsystems such as proteins with designed properties for therapeutic use. Current projects use mammalian cells, simple eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Understanding how to program cells in a rational way will have value, for example, in stem cell design, drug therapy and the environment. These experiments use a combination of theoretical and experimental approaches that are well suited to students with backgrounds in biology, engineering, or any allied field. We also welcome new ideas and are always brainstorming about how we can improve on what biology has to offer.