Department of

Chemical Engineering

Designing molecular technology for the 21st century with biology and chemistry

Photo of Assistant Professor Howard M. Salis.

Assistant Professor Howard M. Salis

Graduate Program Affiliations:
Chemical Engineering, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering &
Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2007

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Rutgers University, 2002

Office: 210 Agricultural Engineering Building

Phone: (814) 865-1931


Primary Links

Research Summary

  • Synthetic Biology
  • Genetic compilers
  • Metabolic Engineering

Research in the Salis laboratory focuses on the development of rational design methods for engineering synthetic biological systems - metabolic pathways, genetic circuits, and genomes. Our goal is to make engineering biology as reliable as building planes, trains, and automobiles. We develop kinetic and thermodynamic models of genetic regulation and test their predictions in industrially and medically useful microorganisms to gain a quantitative understanding of genetic function.

The models are combined with optimization algorithms to create a design method that predictably interconverts between a genetic systemís DNA sequence and its biological function - we call them genetic compilers. We use our methodology to program synthetic microorganisms to manufacture useful chemicals for bioenergy applications and to better understand the dynamical behavior of natural microorganisms.

Click on this image to view a small P D F poster of my recent research projects.

Click on this image to view a P D F of my recent research projects.

Mailing Address

  • c/o: Howard M. Salis
  • Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • 210 Agricultural Engineering Building
  • University Park, PA 16802-4400

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