Joel Bader featured for advancements towards creating synthetic yeast genome


Joel Bader, core ICM faculty member and professor of biomedical engineering, is among a team of scientists whose research article, Design of a synthetic yeast genome, was published in the March 10, 2017 issue of Science and whose work was featured in an article in the Washington Post.

The March 9 Washington Post article features Bader and his fellow researchers who by building six of the 16 chromosomes of baker’s yeast are one-third of the way to creating the first fully synthetic complex cell. This is the largest amount of genetic material ever synthesized.

“A lot of synthetic biology is motivated by this idea that … you only understand something when you can build it,” said Joel Bader, one of the leaders of the project. “Well, now we know enough about biological systems that we can design a chromosome on a computer, synthesize it in a laboratory, put it in the cell, and it will work.”

Because yeast is a well-studied organism that has numerous scientific uses such as developing vaccines, there are many potential applications for a synthetic yeast whose genetic material can be manipulated. For the complete Washington Post article, click here.

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