Ahmad S. Khalil, Ph.D.

Associate Professor (BME)

Associate Professor (BME)

  • Primary Appointment Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Education B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
    M.S., Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, MIT
  • Additional Affiliations Associate Director, Biological Design Center (BDC)
    Co-Director, SB2 NIH/NIGMS T32 Training Program
    Visiting Scholar, Wyss Institute at Harvard University
    Faculty, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry (MCBB)
    Faculty, Bioinformatics
  • Honors and Awards 2020 DoD Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship
    2019 Dorf-Ebner Distinguished Faculty Fellow
    2017 PECASE Award
    2016 NIH New Innovator Award
    2016 DARPA Young Faculty Award
    2015 Hartwell Foundation Investigator
    2014 NSF CAREER Award
  • Areas of Interest Synthetic biology; systems biology; genetic and epigenetic regulation; directed evolution; microbial ecology & evolution; technology development & automation
  • Research Areas My research is interested in how molecular “circuits” enable core cellular functions, such as signal processing, computation, and epigenetic memory. My team develops and applies two complementary approaches to discover the design principles of genetic circuits, and to enable their purposeful manipulation for biomedical applications, such as cell-based therapies and devices. First, we apply synthetic biology approaches, in which we design and build regulatory circuits in living cells. This bottom-up approach allows us to test many different circuit designs and identify which circuits are sufficient to program cellular function. We have pioneered this approach to design and study molecular circuits that control gene regulation and epigenetic memory in eukaryotic cells, with important implications for biotechnology and therapeutics. Second, we apply evolutionary approaches, in which we develop methods for prospective evolution of biological systems in the laboratory. A central pillar of this effort is “eVOLVER”, a highly-flexible continuous culture system we invented that enables large-scale automation of growth, testing, and evolution of cellular systems in precisely-controlled conditions.

Publications

Affiliation: Primary & Affiliated Faculty (BME)