Synthetic biology

Synthetic biologists apply engineering principles to solve biological challenges.  Here at CSU, synthetic biologists are working to create plants that can be used to detect toxins and desalinate water, as well as microbes to synthesize biofuels and other valuable metabolites.  In addition, computational approaches are used to predict DNA function and design protein crystals to deliver and protect nucleic acids.


Franck Dayan
Professor (Agricultural Biology)
The traits imparting weediness (competition, cold and heat stress tolerance etc…) to plants, and how these amazing organisms evolve resistance to herbicides.

Arjun Khakhar
Assistant Professor (Biology; Plant Biology)

Reengineering crops to be more productive, delicious and resilient to the effects of climate change.

June MedfordJune Medford
Professor (Biology)
Molecular and genetic studies of Arabidopsis; plant sentinels; synthetic biology.

Jean PeccoudJean Peccoud
Professor (Chemical & Biological Engineering)
Predictive models of the phenotype encoded in natural and synthetic DNA sequences.

Christie PeeblesChristie Peebles
Associate Professor (Chemical and Biological Engineering)Plant metabolic engineering to produce pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, bio – based chemicals and fuels.

Graham PeersGraham Peers
Associate Professor (Biology)
Photosynthetic Efficiency and Algal Ecophysiology

Ashok PrasadAshok Prasad
Professor (Chemical and Biological Engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering)

Mathematical and computational modeling of biological processes.

Tom SantangeloTom Santangelo
Associate Professor (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)
Leveraging archaeal physiology, metabolism, and molecular biology to produce high level metabolites & biofuels.

Chris SnowChris Snow
Associate Professor (Chemical & Biological Engineering)
Computer – guided protein and DNA engineering, particularly the engineering of crystals.

Affiliate Faculty


CBE 570  Biomolecular Engineering / Synthetic Biology

Facilities & Resources

CMB Students

Angel McKay Whiteman (Medford Lab)
(MS, 2020 Cohort)

Kristin Scott Kristin Scott (Santangelo Lab)
GAANN Teaching Fellow 2018 – 19
qCMB T32 Fellow 2019 – 20

Sere Williams (Santangelo Lab)
(PhD, 2019 Cohort)
qCMB T32 Fellow 2020 – 21
AAAS Mass Media Fellow 2020
GAUSSI Fellow 2018-2019
LinkedIn ,AAAS MMF


Sara OehmkeSara Oehmke (MS 2020, Medford Lab)
Forensic Scientist at the Department for Public Safety in Santa Fe, NM

Allison Werner (PhD 2018 Peebles Lab) – Post – doctoral Fellow, NREL
Mike Caballero (PhD 2017, Peers Lab) – Data Scientist, Hackensack Meridian Health