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  • school of integrative plant science
  • Biology

Seminar from the Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS)

  • Featuring Arjun Khakhar, assistant professor of biology at Colorado State University
  • Tuesday, October 10 from 2-3 p.m. eastern time
  • Hybrid event in Emerson 135 at Cornell and on Zoom
  • Register here


There is an urgent need to develop technologies capable of accelerating crop improvement to meet the challenges posed by both the rapid changes to agricultural environments created by climate change as well as the steadily increasing demand for food. The capacity of synthetic biology to make targeted and tunable changes to genotype has the potential to enable rapid and precise interrogation of genotype-phenotype relationships. Synthetic biology tools also provide an avenue to leverage these insights to enhance crops, either through tuning natural phenotypes or generating totally novel ones. In this seminar I will talk about the work my group has done in the past year developing control systems to predictable modify spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression as well as how we aim to use these to improve crops in the coming years.


I am passionate about fighting global hunger and malnutrition. My major hobbies are cooking, making art, and reading. Science fiction is my favorite genre and I love that my job gives me the opportunity to bring some of the things I have read about closer to reality. I received my PhD from the University of Washington in Bioengineering, went on to do a postdoc at the University of Minnesota, spent two years as a Principal scientist at an Ag-Biotech startup, and am now an assistant professor in the biology department at Colorado State University. My group focuses on using synthetic biology to study and engineer living systems, including plants, viruses, and fungi, with a focus on how structure affects function across scales.


Date & Time

October 13, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Arjun Khakhar

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Tasha Engels

  • nes87 [at]


Arjun Khakhar


School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant Biology Section

Computational Biology

Biological and Environmental Engineering

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