Stanley Qi lab @ Stanford Bioengineering

Genome Engineering | Synthetic Biology | Gene and Cell Therapy

We believe biotechnology and bioengineering will transform future medicine and bring hope to incurable diseases.

We are interested in developing technologies for discovery-based synthetic biology, gene therapy, and cell therapy. We are eager to learning more about the functions of the mammalian genome and how to read and manipulate the genome for disease treatment.

For discovery-based synthetic biology, we use principles of synthetic biology to engineer molecules and genetic circuits to learn new biology. We use human T cells or stem cells as our engineering chassis, and design them to detect new antigens to better kill cancer cells or  integrate many environmental and genomics cues to maintain or change cell fates for body repairing. We are interested in learning how genetics circuits can integrate with the host genomic programs to more powerful sensor-processor-actuator systems. By engineering at the scale from molecular to cellular to organismal level, we hope to make synthetic biology a better discovery tool.

For gene therapy and cell therapy, we develop new tools for treatment of cancer, genetic disease, or infectious disease. We developed the first use of the nuclease deactivated dCas9 for gene regulation and epigenome editing. We developed CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) and CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) for targeted gene activation and repression. We developed LiveFISH for live imaging of DNA and RNA in living cells. We developed CRISPR-GO that allows manipulation of the 3D spatial organization of the genome. We developed and test PAC-MAN as a possible treatment to fight influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and RNA viruses. I hope some of these tools will change future gene and cell therapy.

We combine genome engineering, molecular design, synthetic biology, and bioinformatics to study functional genomics, and develop novel ideas for therapy to treat cancer, degeneration, and infectious diseases.