Project: “Engineering a cell cycle counter to study replicative aging”
Primary Mentor: Andrew Endy, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Jerome Bonnet received his PhD in molecular cell biology in 2007 from the University of Montpellier, France, where he worked on the mechanisms controlling entry into mitosis in mammalian cells.
As a postdoc in the Stanford bioengineering department since October 2008, his goal is to engineer a cell cycle counter using recombination based DNA switches. Such a counter would enable living cells to report the number of time they divided, an would improve our understanding of aging and age-related diseases. Subpopulations of cells having gone through different numbers of divisions could be isolated and interrogated, allowing the characterization of intermediary aging phenotypes and markers. Currently, his work use synthetic biology approaches to design, build and characterize genetic circuits allowing cells to write, store and report cell division events.