Harvard:Biophysics 242r/2011

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Biophysics 242r/2011

Biologically Inspired Molecular Engineering


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Course overview

  • Graduate level seminar focusing on in-silico design pipelines for nucleic acid- and protein-based molecular machinery and programmable molecular systems. Students are mentored to produce substantial midterm and final group design projects.
  • No formal prerequisites. Projects are tailored to each student's strengths and interests.

Example topics for final design project

  • Artificial chemotactic swimmers
  • Nonequilibrium networks of nano-machines mimicking dynamic instability in the cytoskeleton
  • Nucleic acid logic automata responsive to microRNAs in serum
  • Self-assembled solar energy harvester based on bio-inorganic nano-antennae for uv-vis
  • Systematic debugging of DNA labeling chemistries by atomic-resolution TEM imaging of DNA origami
  • Light-controlled transcriptional activation and repression through rational molecular design
  • Directed evolution of tissue engineering scaffold nano-materials
  • Programmable multistep chemical synthesis by templating on nanostructures
  • Ultra-sensitive molecular signal processing for synthetic biology
  • Synthetic nanostructure - virus conjugates
  • Nano-breadboards for probing electron transport in proteins
  • Replication of information in synthetic crystals
  • Etc.


  • Meeting time: 2011 Spring Term, Mondays and Wednesdays, 100 pm — 230 pm, with optional sessions for working on projects from 230 pm to 330 pm, starting on Monday, February 7
  • Form teams for midterm projects on Monday, February 7
  • Form teams for final projects on Monday, March 21
  • First class on Monday, January 24
  • Location: CLSB521
  • No exams
  • Prerequisites: none
  • Grading
    • 33% Participation
    • 33% Midterm project
    • 33% Final project
  • Harvard course site
  • Harvard:Biophysics_242r/2011/Course Development Log

Background Info and previous class projects

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