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Northwestern and MIT receive funding from Army’s synthetic biology center

January 4, 2023

Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), recognized leaders in the growing field of synthetic biology, recently received significant grant awards from the Army for basic research projects involving large interdisciplinary teams. These awards are part of the Army’s recently established basic research center that applies synthetic biology to design advanced materials and to engineer environmental microbial communities.

One team, led by Northwestern, focuses on engineered biological materials. A second team, led by MIT, focuses on cell engineering.

The center also includes awards focused on materials and cellular engineering supporting investigators at the University of Minnesota, Columbia University, Colorado State University and Tufts University. All of the funded projects emphasize predictive design, a technique used to predict future behavior. 

The Northwestern-led project is titled “The Center for Predictive Materials Design (PreMaDe).” This team includes Northwestern’s Michael Jewett (principal investigator), Nathan Gianneschi, Neha Kamat, Julius Lucks and Danielle Tullman-Ercek, as well as researchers from Johns Hopkins University, MIT, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Texas at Austin. 

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