Project 1

Project 1    Cellular Machine Shop

We seek to create an efficient set of approaches and tools for controlling shape and interactions within cells at the organelle scale. The fundamental tools are those of standard cell biology, but in order to achieve the level of reproducibility necessary for an engineering design-build-test cycle, we are re-imagining every step of the build process, from how we barcode strains to how we communicate experimental protocols. Because of the inherent variability of biological systems, we envision high-throughput screening as an integral part of the fabrication cycle, such that a given design will be implemented not with a single construct, but with a constellation of many different construct variants, all of which are then tested by direct imaging of cell structure. For this reason, we have been invested substantial effort towards building robust computational tools for analyzing cellular structure, taking advantage of modern developments in deep learning and image analysis. Examples include new approaches for tracking chromosomes and spindles, locating the surface of organelles, and deconvolving line-scan images from high throughput imaging platforms.
Cellular Machine Shop includes all projects aimed at developing tools useful for the other projects in the Center. Examples of research areas that fit into the Cellular Machine Shop Project:
  • Genetic tools for measuring cell structure
  • New instrumentation for measuring cell structure
  • Algorithms for measuring cell structure
  • Infrastructure/methods for storing, sharing, comparing data
  • Infrastructure/methods for automating, standardizing or prototyping new tools for manipulating cell structure