I did my master's thesis research on Caltech (California Institute of Technology) summer 2014 in the field of synthetic biology/biochemistry. The project was a part of the research at Richard M. Murray's biocircuits lab, and concerned prototyping methodology for building logic systems of gene regulation. The thesis was presented at LTH, Department of Applied biochemistry, in February 2015. In May 2015, it was awarded the Karl-Erik Sahlberg award for exceptional thesis in the field of chemistry, with a 50.000 SEK grant.
Master thesis report: Frisk.A - Masters Thesis - 204 lossless FINAL
Popular science article: Frisk.A - PopularScienceArticle 202
Rapid prototyping of biomolecular circuits through module characterization in cell-free expression systems
Over the past years, the field of synthetic biology has gained a significant array of tools and parts, making way for increasingly complex bio-molecular circuits to be constructed. The development of biocircuits can be facilitated by assembling parts in a less complex, cell-free, environment which contains only the machinery for gene transcription (TX) and translation (TL), which have been extracted from bacteria. In this project, a part library was collected and used to assemble DNA constructs for a newly designed biocircuit. An in vitro TX-TL extract was used to test the circuit modules using linear DNA, and in parallel with predictive modeling of the biomolecular reactions, the overall circuit design was evaluated. The results have given valuable insight into the performance of the circuit modules in a much shorter time than conventional in vivo cloning and testing would have achieved.
Karl-Erik Sahlberg Award
Due to this masters thesis, I was awarded the Karl-Erik Sahlberg award for exceptional masters thesis in the field of chemistry, in May 2015. The award was covered by LTH News in the following news articles:
The award ceremoni was live streamed at LTHs youtube channel and can be viewed here:
Popular science presentation at Caltech
10 weeks into the project I prepared a popular science presentation about my project that reflects the general idea of what the masters thesis was about in a simplified way. Watching this should not require any scientific background.