To prepare for interdisciplinary research at the intersection of biology and computing, I pursued a BA with a double major in biochemistry and computer science at Clark University, where I engaged in computational research of protein biochemistry and dynamics. In 2005, I joined the postgraduate program of Boston University’s Biomedical Engineering Department. As part of my PhD studies there, I developed a theoretical framework and computational tools enabling the analysis and design of synthetic gene networks through hybrid system modelling and formal verification techniques. After completing my PhD in January 2011, I worked as a post-doctoral researcher within the Mechanical Engineering Department at Boston University, focusing on the integration of these methods into bio-design automation frameworks for synthetic biology. In September 2011, I joined the Biological Computation Group at Microsoft Research as a post-doctoral scientist, working on methods allowing the characterization of components used for the construction of biological circuits. I also developed SMT-based analysis strategies for reasoning about biological systems, enabling novel approaches to the design and verification of DNA circuits and advancing the study of developmental systems and stem cell decision making. I became a permanent member of the Computational Science Laboratory at Microsoft Research in June, 2014.
I am a scientist with the Biological Computation Group at Microsoft Research, working on programming biological systems and understanding the computation performed by living cells and organisms. My research aims to
- Accelerate the design and reproducible construction of engineered biochemical circuits with robust, desirable behaviour (synthetic biology and DNA computing) and
- Improve our understanding of the information processing strategies of natural biological systems (stem cell and developmental biology).
To address these problems, I design, implement and apply methods that integrate computational analysis with experimental protocols. I was involved in setting up the first experimental biological lab at Microsoft Research, where we are now testing technologies that bring together computational analysis, experimental protocols, and lab automation to support our efforts in genetic engineering of living cells. I also contributed to the development of the RE:IN tool and methodology for reasoning about biological programs, which has been used to provide insights into the decision-making of stem cells.