Member Listing – Zibo Chen

First Name
Middle Name
Last Name
Westlake University
Job Title
Assistant Professor
Research Summary
The Chen Lab combines mammalian synthetic biology with de novo protein design to write biological programs at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels.
Research Description
The focus of our lab is to program biological behaviors by designing de novo proteins that encode information and collectively carry out user-defined computations in test tubes and mammalian cells. Research projects in the lab span from fundamental questions to real-world applications, and can be roughly categorized into two directions: 1) Molecular Computing with Protein Circuits. We design protein circuits that can programmably and robustly carry out computations both inside and outside of cells. Such circuits allow one to predictably control cell functions. Circuit components are proteins designed from scratch using Rosetta, which enables full customization of their functionalities at the single molecule level. 2) Programmable Self-assembly of Proteins. Proteins in nature self-assemble into cages, fibers, sheets, and crystals that are critical to cellular functions. In most cases, the algorithms governing such assemblies are embedded in local interactions between adjacent proteins, allowing complex structures to autonomously arise from simple building blocks. We use Rosetta to design information-bearing proteins that programmably assemble into desired shapes, which can provide versatile supramolecular structure motifs to study and alter cellular functions.
Research Keywords
Protein circuitry; Protein Design; Molecular programming; Cell design
Working with Rosetta Since