Christopher Voigt


We are developing a basis by which cells can be programmed like robots to perform complex, coordinated tasks for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We are engineering new sensors that give bacteria the senses of touch, sight, and smell. Genetic circuits — analogous to their electronic counterparts — are built to integrate the signals from the various sensors. Finally, the output of the gene circuits is used to control cellular processes. We are also developing theoretical tools from statistical mechanics and non-linear dynamics to understand how to combine genetic devices and predict their collective behavior.


Stanton BC, Nielsen AA, Tamsir A, Clancy K, Peterson T, Voigt CA. Genomic mining of prokaryotic repressors for orthogonal logic gates. Nat Chem Biol. 2014;10(2):99-105.
Brophy JA, Voigt CA. Principles of genetic circuit design. Nat Methods. 2014;11(5):508-20.
Church GM, Elowitz MB, Smolke CD, Voigt CA, Weiss R. Realizing the potential of synthetic biology. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014;15(4):289-94.
Nielsen AA, Segall-Shapiro TH, Voigt CA. Advances in genetic circuit design: novel biochemistries, deep part mining, and precision gene expression. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2013;17(6):878-92.
Rhodius VA, Segall-Shapiro TH, Sharon BD, Ghodasara A, Orlova E, Tabakh H, et al. Design of orthogonal genetic switches based on a crosstalk map of σs, anti-σs, and promoters. Mol Syst Biol. 2013;9:702.

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The MIT Center for Integrative Synthetic Biology, under the leadership of director Ron Weiss and co-director Christopher Voigt, has been awarded a $11.4 million grant from the National Institutes o
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Bacteria don’t normally take photographs. Nor do they attack tumor cells or produce chemicals. But with some help from biological engineer Chris Voigt, they can do all that and more.