Jorge Marchand

Chemical Engineering

The Marchand Lab aims to utilize fundamental approaches in synthetic biology, chemical biology, biosynthesis, and biomolecular engineering for reprogramming life at the nucleic acid level. The goal is to extend the nucleotide building blocks available in living systems for biosynthesis, and to use newly expanded metabolism for producing nucleic acids with emergent, programmable function. Our group currently focuses on xenonucleic acids with nucleobases that basepair orthogonally to the canonical genetic code (i.e. ATGC+XYWZ). These xenonucleic acids are all synthetic in source. In applying our technology, we look to leverage expanded genetic codes for biomanufacturing and for developing more sensitive nucleic acids for diagnostics and biosensing. Towards these goals, our group focuses on three fundamental areas in the xenonucleic acid field: enzymatic synthesis, next-generation sequencing, and synthetic biology.