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Dr Somenath Bakshi

Dr Somenath Bakshi

University Lecturer in Synthetic Biology


Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 332753

Biography:

Somenath Bakshi is a new University Lecturer in Synthetic Biology. He is a single molecule biophysicist by training. He did his PhD in University of Wisconsin Madison under Professor James Weisshaar – developing super-resolution imaging technologies to study central cellular processes in microbes. After finishing his PhD, he moved to Harvard University for his postdoc with Professor Johan Paulsson. During his postdoc Somenath developed high-throughput timelapse imaging technologies of single microbes in controlled complex growth-conditions. He has also developed a novel self-erasable fluorescence barcoding system, which enables harnessing the throughput for boosting multiplexing capabilities, without any need for cloning and sequencing. Though most of his work has focused on methods and approaches to synthetic biology, he remains interested in quantifying the dynamics and control of natural circuits. In fact much of the work from his postdoc focused on real biological circuits, studying circuits involved in stress-response regulation and their impact on persistence of microbes towards antibiotics.

Departments and Institutes

Engineering:

Research Interests

At the fundamental level Dr Bakshi's research goal is to understand and engineer biological networks. He is mostly interested in gene-regulation networks in microbes and network of microbes in ecosystem, and how the two can influence each other. His lab implements both the reverse and forward engineering approach (systems and synthetic biology) towards this goal.

Dr Bakshi is trained as a single molecule biophysicist and has spent several years developing methodologies and applying them to understand the spatial biology and dynamics of the physiology and gene-expression in microbes under complex growth conditions. Currently, his lab is extending such tools to investigate the dynamics of synthetic and natural genetic circuits and microbial eco-systems at the single-cell level and use control theoretic approaches to analyze them.

Understanding such systems will play a crucial role in designing novel probiotic approaches towards diagnostics and treatment of  gut-related symptoms. One major goal of the lab is to also extend the work of microbial communities to understand their interaction with plants, and improve plant health, growth, and productivity. In these regards, their research relates to several agendas of the UN sustainable development goals, including ‘zero hunger’ and ‘good health and wellbeing’.