Tim Lu

In A Nutshell

Tim Lu is advancing the third wave of bioengineered medicine by engineering cells to act as living therapeutics and enabling dynamic responses to disease in previously unseen ways. 

About Tim

 Synthetic biologist Timothy Lu draws on his combined expertise in computer programming, electrical engineering, and microbiology to engineer novel characteristics and behaviors into cells and microbes. He has also developed novel technology platforms to interrogate and correct diseased cell states, a process that has the potential to contribute to the development of exciting new therapies applicable to a range of pathologies. Considered one of the founding fathers of synthetic biology, Tim is a core member of the Synthetic Biology Group at MIT and has co-founded several startups focused on creating new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, including Sample6, Senti Biosciences, Synlogic, Eligo Biosciences, BiomX, and Engine Biosciences. He is a recipient of numerous awards for his work, including the NIH New Innovator Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Learn More

Swallowed capsule could spot trouble, send alert ” Boston Globe. 2018.


Synthetic RNA-Based Immunomodulatory Gene Circuits for Cancer Immunotherapy.” Cell. Vol 171. 2017.


Synthetic recombinase-based state machines in living cells.” Science. Vol 353. 2016.


Synthetic analog computation in living cells.” Nature. 2013.


“Synthetic gene networks that smell.” Nature Chemical Biology. 2017.


“Emerging applications for DNA writers and molecular recorders.” Science. 2018. 


“Synthetic mixed-signal computation in living cells.” Nature Communications. 2016.

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Biological Engineer