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NAKFI Synthetic Biology Grantee Develops Technology for Programming  Mammalian Cells to Sense & Respond via Synthetic Biosensors


 Dr. Leonard is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern University. Dr. Leonard’s research group engineers customized cellular functions and multicellular networks for applications in biotechnology and medicine, including programmable cellular “devices” enabling both better understanding and treatment of diseases. They are applying this approach to develop new treatments for cancer, programmable smart vaccines, and inexpensive diagnostics for applications in global health. In 2010 Dr. Leonard was also awarded a NAKFI Synthetic Biology grant for his proposal titled Development of a novel platform for engineering synthetic interkingdom communication, in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Collins of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. For more information about Dr. Leonard or his research please visit his lab’s webpage.