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Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

Synthetic biology improves lives.

Scientists are harnessing the power of synthetic biology to make medicines, foods and fuels that solve old problems in new ways. Learn how CALS researchers are expanding our knowledge in ways that could fight disease, feed communities, lower our carbon footprint and address some of our greatest challenges.

How are we using synthetic biology?

Study synthetic biology

This research field combines disciplines in ways that allow us to find new answers to old questions. Explore our programs:

close up of cells in a microscope

News

An oval bacteria with a tail on a purple background.

News

Low-cost microbe can speed biological discovery

To conduct low-cost and scalable synthetic biological experiments, Cornell researchers have created a new version of a microbe to compete economically with E. coli – a bacteria used to synthesize proteins.

  • Biological and Environmental Engineering
  • Bacteria
  • Synthetic Biology
Diagram of a skin layer with an implant placed between the skin and muscle.

News

Researchers created a new technique to treat Type 1 diabetes: implanting a device inside a pocket under the skin that can secrete insulin while avoiding the immunosuppression that typically stymies management of the disease.

  • Biological and Environmental Engineering
  • Biology
  • Synthetic Biology
Tobacco plants growing in rows in an agricultural field

News

Cornell researchers have successfully transferred key regions of a highly efficient red algae into a tobacco plant to dramatically improve plant productivity and increase carbon sequestration.

  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Biology Section
  • Field Crops

Explore our expertise

Man in a blue suit on a gray background.
Alireza Abbaspourrad

Yongkeun Joh Associate Professor of Food Chemistry and Ingredient Technology

Food Science

Alireza Abbaspourrad
Soft Materials
Hierarchical Design of Porous Materials
Micro and Nano Encapsulation
a man sits on a couch in a colorful room
Samuel Alcaine

Associate Professor

Food Science

Samuel Alcaine
Buz Barstow assistant professor.
Buz Barstow

Assistant Professor

Biological and Environmental Engineering

Buz Barstow
  • bmb35 [at] cornell.edu
a woman in a blue sweater and purple scarf stands in front of a brick wall
Heather Feaga

Assistant Professor and Leader for Diversity and Inclusion

Microbiology

Heather Feaga
  • haf54 [at] cornell.edu
laura gunn with Ithaca is Gorges mug
Laura Gunn

Assistant Professor

Plant Biology Section

School of Integrative Plant Science

Laura Gunn
  • lhg42 [at] cornell.edu
Carbon fixation Synthetic biology
Structural biology
Synthetic biology
a man in a blue polo stands in front of a large window on a sunny day
Sam Nugen

Professor

Food Science

Sam Nugen