Student Research

Research – bioRxiv Pre-print – Characterization of Diverse Homoserine Lactone Synthases in Escherichia coli

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Characterization of Diverse Homoserine Lactone Synthases in Escherichia coli
Daer R, Barrett CM, Melendez EL, Wu J, Tekel SJ, Xu J, Dennison B, Muller R, Haynes KA. (2018) bioRxiv.

The Haynes lab focuses on advanced chromosome engineering in human cells, but also provides opportunities for undergraduates to learn synthetic biology using simpler organisms like bacteria (E. coli). In this paper, the 2016 ASU International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Competition team and their graduate advisors report their work to identify useful, new cell-cell communication components to use in engineered systems. Homoserine lactone (HSL) synthases appear as a wide variety of different forms in the bacterial kingdom, and produce various chemical signals that regulate genes in neighboring bacteria. When these are combined to build synthetic circuits in a common lab strain (E. coli), the signals are sometimes not produced as expected. Therefore, it is important to systematically characterize HSL synthases in context. The team also used experiments to identify the most effective way to neutralize unused HSLs in biological waste. The ten HSL synthases characterized in this paper were contributed to public collections for use by the scientific community.


Haynes lab undergad researcher Jiaqi Wu receives prestigous Bidstrup Fellowship

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Jiaqi Wu, a computer science major who is fascinated with computational biology and bioinformatics, has been awarded a prestigious Bidstrup Undergraduate Fellowship for academic year 2017 – 2018.  This award is a testament to the outstanding commitment to academic excellence made by Jiaqi and Dr. Haynes as a faculty-student team. Read the rest of this entry »

PhD Defense – Congratulations to Rene Daer

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Rene_PhD_defenseBiological Design PhD student Rene Daer just successfully defended her thesis “Expanding Applications of Portable Biological Systems: Enhancements to Mammalian Gene Editing and Bacterial Quorum Sensing” today at 3 – 5 pm in Biological Design Auditorium B. Thank you to all of the friends, family, and colleagues who came to show their support.

This day is especially exciting since Dr. Rene Daer will my (Dr. Haynes’) first PhD graduate. On behalf of the Haynes lab, I hope this training experience launches a fun and fruitful career!

Haynes Lab Members to Present Research at Fall 2017 EBRC Retreat

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ebrc_logo3Haynes lab members Alyssa Henning, Ben Nyer, and Dr. Karmella Haynes will be presenting research at a 2017 Fall Retreat organized by the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC). The retreat will take place at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA September 22 – 23, 2017. EBRC members include some of the most prestigious labs in synthetic biology. Attendees will come from academic, industry, and government institutions from across the country.

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Rene Daer to present at SEED 2017

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Congratulations to Haynes lab PhD student Rene Daer, who has been invited to give a poster presentation at the 2017 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED) conference in Vancouver, Canada May 21-21, 2016. She will present her latest work on manipulating chromatin in human cells to enhance CRISPR efficiency. Rene is a fifth-year graduate student in the Biological Design program.

Haynes Lab to present research at ASBMB Meeting in Chicago

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Research abstracts from the Haynes lab have been selected to be showcased at the 2017 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) annual meeting. ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with over 12,000 members. This year’s meeting will be held at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL April 22 – 26, 2017. Dr. Karmella Haynes will be presenting a talk entitled In Vitro Development of Synthetic Chromatin Proteins That Function in Live Cells on Tuesday April 25 during the Spotlight Session Beyond the Code: Chemistry of Nucleotide and Amino Acid Modifications. For the poster session Protein Engineering and Design, also on April 25th, her doctoral student Stefan Tekel (Biological Design, PhD) will present a poster entitled Using Multivalency to Improve the Function of Synthetic Epigenetic Proteins. Dr. Haynes will also be presenting a poster.

Support: NIH NCI award (K01 CA188164) to K. Haynes, SBHSE Merit Award to S. Tekel

Haynes Lab members to present research at Northwestern University

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Haynes lab PhD students Cassandra Barrett, Rene Daer, and Daniel Vargas will present their research during a poster session at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL for a retreat organized by the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC). The retreat will take place Friday March 24 – Saturday March 25.

EBRC is an organization where leading scientists in synthetic biology conduct collaborative research and roadmap the development of this rapidly evolving field. Members include top Universities from across the USA. Dr. Haynes is a member of the Board of Directors. Rene Daer is president of the student and postdoc association.