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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research group works at the interface of systems biology and synthetic biology in order to probe and program the function of complex, multicellular systems to develop transformative biotechnologies and enable a new paradigm of design-driven medicine. Using the tools of synthetic biology, biomolecular engineering, computational systems biology, and gene therapy, we develop technologies including programmable cell-based “devices,” immune therapies for cancer and chronic disease, smart vaccines, biosensors for global health applications, and tools for advanced metabolic engineering. By bringing an engineering approach to the investigation, design, and construction of biological systems, the Leonard group is advancing the frontiers of design-driven medicine to address unmet medical needs and create safe, effective, and long-lasting treatment options that improve both quantity and quality of life.

Education/Academic qualification

Chemical Engineering, PhD, University of California, Berkeley

… → 2006

Chemical Engineering, BS, Stanford University

… → 2000

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Grants 2009 2022

Chemical reactions
Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy
Synthetic Biology
Cell Engineering
Regenerative Medicine
Toll-Like Receptor 4
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats
Cell Physiological Phenomena
Biosensing Techniques

Research Output 1999 2018

1 Citations

Development of novel metabolite-responsive transcription factors via transposon-mediated protein fusion

Younger, A. K. D., Su, P. Y., Shepard, A. J., Udani, S. V., Cybulski, T. R., Tyo, K. E. J. & Leonard, J. N., Feb 1 2018, In : Protein Engineering, Design and Selection. 31, 2, p. 55-63 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Transcription factors
Biosensing Techniques
Transcription Factors
1 Citations

Enrichment of extracellular vesicle subpopulations via affinity chromatography

Hung, M. E., Lenzini, S. B., Stranford, D. M. & Leonard, J. N., Jan 1 2018, Methods in Molecular Biology. Humana Press Inc, p. 109-124 16 p. (Methods in Molecular Biology; vol. 1740).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Affinity Chromatography
Extracellular Vesicles

Highly Stable, Ultrasmall Polymer-Grafted Nanobins (usPGNs) with Stimuli-Responsive Capability

Hong, B. J., Iscen, A., Chipre, A. J., Li, M. M., Lee, O. S., Leonard, J. N., Schatz, G. C. & Nguyen, S. T., Mar 1 2018, In : Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 9, 5, p. 1133-1139 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

carbopol 940
acrylic acid
1 Citations

Synthetic biology: Reframing cell therapy for cancer

Dolberg, T. B., Donahue, P. S. & Leonard, J. N., Feb 14 2018, In : Nature Chemical Biology. 14, 3, p. 204-205 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Synthetic Biology
Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy
2 Citations

A Systematic Evaluation of Factors Affecting Extracellular Vesicle Uptake by Breast Cancer Cells

Stranford, D. M., Hung, M. E., Gargus, E. S., Shah, R. N. & Leonard, J. N., Nov 1 2017, In : Tissue Engineering - Part A. 23, 21-22, p. 1274-1282 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Breast Neoplasms
Hexadimethrine Bromide
Display devices