Welcome to Stanley Qi lab @ Stanford Bioengineering

Stanford Genetic Engineering and Synthetic Biology Laboratory

As a research laboratory, we believe technologies and bioengineering will transform biomedicine and bring positive changes to the world. We are interested in developing new technologies for discovery-based synthetic biology and gene therapy. We are intrigued by how the human genome functions and how to fix a dysregulated genome to treat diseases.

For discovery-based synthetic biology, we adopt principles in synthetic biology for discoveries. We utilize the approaches of molecular engineering and gene circuit design to unveal novel biology. For example, we are interested in how T cells detect antigen and kill tumor cells in a sophisticated environment, how stem cells integrate multiple environmental and genetic cues to maintain or change its fate, how synthetic circuits can be integrated with the host cellular programs to create sensor-processor-actuator systems. By engineering at the interface from molecular to cellular to organismal levels, we hope to make bioengineering a discovery tool.

For gene and cell therapy, we engineer new tools and technologies and test its uses for translation. For example, we developed the first nuclease deactivated Cas9 (dCas9) for genome and epigenome regulation. Based on dCas9, we demonstrated CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) and CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) for sequence-specific gene activation or repression. We developed LiveFISH, a live-cell CRISPR imaging approach that allows dynamic visualization of the genome. We invented CRISPR-GO (Genome Organization) that allows one to manipulate the spatial organization of the genome in the nucleus. We developed PAC-MAN as a potential treatment to SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses. These technologies expand our toolbox for gene therapy to fix genomic errors and abnormalities.