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John B. Derieux Lectures

Institute for Medical Engineering & Science Department of Biological Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Wyss Institute, Harvard University
Host: William Ditto

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Abstract: Synthetic Biology: Life Redsigned

Synthetic biology is bringing together engineers, physicists and biologists to model, design and construct biological circuits out of proteins, genes and other bits of DNA, and to use these circuits to rewire and reprogram organisms. These re-engineered organisms are going to change our lives in the coming years, leading to cheaper drugs, rapid diagnostic tests, and synthetic probiotics to treat infections and a range of complex diseases. In this talk, we highlight recent efforts to create synthetic gene networks and programmable cells and discuss a variety of synthetic biology applications in biotechnology and biomedicine.

John Benly Derieux was one of the early members of the physics faculty at North Carolina State University from 1916 until 1947. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago under the guidance of Nobel Laureates A.A. Michelson and R.A. Millikan. He studied the electric charge and also measured the photoelectric effect in mercury droplets employing the Millikan experiment. He published the work in two papers in the Physical Review after joining the department.

At NC State he was an exceptionally active scientist working on a wide range of research projects. John Derieux was a popular teacher and scientist -- respected and admired by his colleagues. He is memorialized in the department by the John B. Derieux Lecture, established through a bequest in the will of Mrs. Derieux to provide for lectures in the field of "Modern or Contemporary Physics".