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Megan J Palmer
Megan J Palmer



I am a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University in the the labs of Drew Endy and Christina Smolke and am serving as the Deputy Director of Practices for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC).

Contact Info

Megan J. Palmer, Ph.D.

Stanford University

Y2E2 Building

473 Via Ortega, B07 Bioengineering

Stanford, California, 94306


mjpalmer 'AT'


2010 Ph.D. Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

2004 B.Sc.E. Engineering Chemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada

Postdoctoral Research

Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC), Deputy Director of Practices

  • Advisor: Drew Endy
  • Co-direct efforts within a multi-university engineering research center to explore how scientists and engineers can consider and respond to societal ramifications of developments in synthetic biology.

Smolke Lab, Stanford University, Department of Bioengineering

  • Advisor: Christina D. Smolke
  • Development of RNA devices to control cytokine responsiveness of T cells for immunotherapy applications

Graduate Research

Lauffenburger Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Deptartment of Biological Engineering

  • Advisors: Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Darrell J. Irvine
  • Thesis Title: Cytokine Signaling Control of Naïve CD8+ T Cell Homeostasis
  • Identified and characterized novel heterogeneities within CD8+ T cell populations in terms of their responsiveness to interleukin (IL) family cytokines supporting homeostatic survival and proliferation.
  • Performed experimental and mathematical modeling analysis of IL‐7 ligand/receptor binding dynamics and signaling, revealing receptor expression as the dominant controller of T cell responsiveness to IL‐7.
  • Translated in vitro results to in vivo murine models, demonstrating that modulation of IL‐7 levels in vivo alters the clonal composition of the T cell repertoire and revealing IL‐7 levels supporting homeostatic diversity.


Palmer MJ*, Mahajan VS*, Chen J, Irvine DJ, Lauffenburger DA. (2011). Signaling Thresholds Govern Heterogeneity in IL‐7 Receptor‐Mediated Responses of Naïve CD8+ T Cells. "In Press". (*authors contributed equally)

Palmer MJ, Mahajan VS, Trajman LC, Irvine DJ, Lauffenburger DA, Chen J. (2008). Interleukin 7 Receptor Signaling Network: An Integrated Systems Perspective. Cellular and Molecular Immunology. 5(2): 79‐89.


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