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.

Recent News

May 2024Dr. Lakin is a co-author on a paper on nucleic acid isolation using intrinsically disordered proteins, now published in Scientific Reports.

February 2024A new graduate student, Anshika Mishra, joins the group. Welcome!

February 2024Dr. Tracy Mallette's paper on transfection of heterochiral DNA circuit components into living human cells is published in ChemBioChem. Congratulations!

January 2024Dr. Lakin is a co-author on a perspective piece on genetic biocontainment, now published in Nature Communications.

November 2023Dr. Sarika Kumar's paper on geometric reaction enumeration is published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Congratulations!

October 2023Dr. Lakin is PI of a newly awarded grant: NSF grant 2312215: Simulation-guided design of heterochiral DNA nanostructures for biomaterials applications.

September 2023Dr. Tracy Mallette presents a poster on her work on heterochiral DNA computing in living mammalian cells at the 29th International Conference on DNA Computing and Molecular Programming at Tohoku University, Japan.

August 2023Dr. Lakin's new grant on heavy metal biosensing is featured on the UNM Newsroom website.

August 2023Dr. Lakin gives an invited talk at the Pittsposium workshop held at the University of Cambridge Department of Computer Science and Technology, in honor of the retirement of Prof. Andrew Pitts.

August 2023Dr. Lakin is Co-PI of a newly awarded grant: NSF grant 2318897: Biosensors for field detection of aqueous heavy metals: a collaboration with Native American communities. This $3,000,000 project is a collaboration with the UNM Center for Water and the Environment, the Southwest Research and Information Center, and Navajo Technical University.

July 2023Sarika Kumar has successfully defended her PhD dissertation for the Computer Science program, entitled "Computational Study of the Effect of Geometry on Molecular Interactions." Congratulations Dr. Kumar!

July 2023The second iteration of our NSF CAREER-funded biotechnology summer camp concludes! Two groups of high-school students from the Albuquerque area each spent five days at ¡Explora! working with Lakin Lab members carrying out activities and assays including cell-free expression reactions, bacterial transformations, and CRISPR interference experiments!

July 2023Dr. Lakin's perspective piece on the computational design of nucleic acid circuits is published, as part of the "Visions of DNA Nanotechnology at 40 for the Next 40" book, in honor of the late Prof. Ned Seeman.

June 2023A new graduate student, Andrew Gutierrez, joins the group. Welcome!

May 2023Dr. Lakin gives a talk and presents a poster at the SynCell 2023 conference at the University of Minnesota.

May 2023Tracy Mallette has successfully defended her PhD dissertation for the Biomedical Engineering program, entitled "Heterochiral DNA Nanotechnology for Biomedical Applications." She passed the defense with distinction. Congratulations Dr. Mallette!

May 2023Tracy Mallette wins the UNM School of Engineering's Outstanding Graduate Student Award for the combined Interdisciplinary Programs (Biomedical Engineering, Nanoscience & Microsystems Engineering, and Optical Science & Engineering). Congratulations!

April 2023Dr. Lakin's paper on a backpropagation learning chemical reaction network is published online in Artificial Life.

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

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

More news...