L A K I N   L A B
Programmable Biology

University of New Mexico

The Lakin Lab for Programmable Biology works on the modeling, design, and experimental implementation of biomolecular computers and synthetic gene networks, and on their practical application to biomedical problems such as autonomous nanomedicine and pathogen detection. We are interested in elucidating design rules for engineered biological and biomolecular systems, and in the development of scalable architectures for biomolecular computing. We use biological and bio-inspired approaches to implement behaviors such as adaptation and learning in engineered systems. We also work on the semantics and implementation of domain-specific declarative programming languages and software tools for biological modeling and biodesign. We are part of the Department of Computer Science, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, and Center for Biomedical Engineering at the University of New Mexico.

We are hiring postdocs to work on heterochiral DNA nanotechnology!

Recent News

November 2022David's paper on conditioning of chemical reaction networks is published online in PLOS Computational Biology. Congratulations!

October 2022Tracy wins a Poster Award at the 18th Annual Meeting of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society. Congratulations!

August 2022Tracy is voted 1st runner-up for the DNA28 Best Student Presentation Award for her talk entitled "Protecting heterochiral DNA nanostructures against exonuclease-mediated degradation." Congratulations!

August 2022The 28th International Conference on DNA Computing and Molecular Programming (DNA28) is hosted at UNM by Dr. Lakin and Prof. Darko Stefanovic. The conference attracted 124 participants from 46 institutions in 12 countries to a fully in-person event held over 5 days. There were 5 invited keynote talks, including the Tulip Award keynote talk delivered by Dr. Andrew Phillips, as well as 31 contributed talks, 47 poster presentations, and a special tribute session in honor of the late Prof. Ned Seeman.

June 2022The first iteration of our NSF CAREER-funded biotechnology summer camp concludes! High-school students from the Albuquerque area spent four days at ¡Explora! working with Lakin Lab members carrying out activities and assays including cell-free expression reactions, gel electrophoresis, and CRISPR interference experiments!

June 2022Tracy's paper on using L-DNA to protect molecular circuits from degradation is published online in ACS Synthetic Biology. Congratulations!

May 2022David gives a speech at the UNM School of Engineering's Spring 2022 Convocation.

May 2022David has successfully defended his dissertation, entitled "Control Mechanisms for Nanoscale Devices." Congratulations!

May 2022Dr. Lakin is featured on the UNM School of Engineering Faculty Highlights webpage.

February 2022Dr. Lakin gives an invited talk as part of the University of Minnesota's ECE colloquium talk series.

February 2022David's paper on supervised learning in chemical neural networks is published online in IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems. Congratulations!

January 2022Dr. Lakin is Co-PI on a newly awarded grant to support the DNA28 conference: NSF grant 2202396: Student and Postdoc Travel Support for DNA28.

January 2022Dr. Lakin is a local organizer for the 28th International Conference on DNA Computing and Molecular Programming (DNA28), scheduled to be held at UNM on August 8-12, 2022!

December 2021David's paper on implementing finite state automata using approximate majority reactions is published online in Royal Society Open Science. Congratulations!

December 2021Dr. Lakin is a co-author on a perspective piece arising from the SynCell2020/2021 conferences, now published online in eLife.

December 2021Group member Luis Paez graduates from UNM with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry, and with a minor in Statistics. Congratulations!

November 2021Dr. Caroline Rempe joins the group as a technical staff member working on outreach projects. Welcome!

November 2021Tracy won second place in the LoboBITES competition at the UNM Shared Knowledge Conference. Congratulations!

September 2021Dr. Lakin is co-editor of the proceedings of the DNA27 conference, now available online.

August 2021Dr. Lakin gives an invited talk as part of the Build-A-Cell virtual seminar series.

More news...