Category: MolE PhD

UW MolE Welcomes 2021 Cohort

October 1, 2021

Join us in welcoming our 8th cohort of future molecular engineers! The 2021 cohort consists of nine students with backgrounds in either engineering or the natural sciences, all of whom are interested in developing innovative molecular-based solutions to pressing grand challenges. Learn more about our newest trainees and their current research interests. [...]


2019 MolE PhD 2019 Cohort in MolES shirts
Molecular Engineering @ UW: PhD Program Overview & Admissions Process

September 23, 2021

The UW Molecular Engineering Ph.D. (MolE) Program is hosting a virtual information session featuring students, faculty and staff on October 12th, 4-5PM PST. Students with bachelor’s degrees in either engineering or the natural sciences - who are interested in developing innovative molecular‐based solutions to pressing grand challenges in a highly interdisciplinary environment - are encouraged to attend. [...]


University of Washington and Microsoft researchers develop “nanopore-tal” enabling cells to talk to computers

August 12, 2021

The research team, which includes MolE graduate student Nicolas Cardozo, introduce a new class of reporter proteins that can be directly read by a commercially available nanopore sensing device. The new system ― dubbed “Nanopore-addressable protein Tags Engineered as Reporters,” also known as NanoporeTERs or NTERs for short ― can perform multiplexed detection of protein expression levels from bacterial and human cell cultures far beyond the capacity of existing techniques. [...]


Molecular engineering graduates tackle global grand challenges

July 12, 2021

This past year, in the midst of a global pandemic, nine students in the Molecular Engineering Ph.D. Program (MolE) completed their degrees. Learn how they applied molecular engineering principles to enable a healthier and more sustainable world and what they're up to next. [...]


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MolES 2019-20 Annual Report

February 5, 2021

The Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute annual report for the 2019-20 academic year is now available. Learn about the work being done at MolES and the MAF by our faculty, students, and staff! The report features a snapshot of our institute, research highlights, faculty awards, our work to address racism in STEM, graduating students, and [...]


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Characterizing microbial communities in the human gut and soil to understand their roles in health, disease and the environment

December 16, 2020

Alex Carr is a 3rd year molecular engineering Ph.D. student co-advised by UW affiliated investigators Drs. Sean Gibbons and Nitin Baliga at the Institute for Systems Biology. We recently spoke with Carr about his research and his experience in the Molecular Engineering (MolE) Ph.D. program. How did you come to pursue a Ph.D. in molecular [...]


MolES researchers answer questions about molecular engineering in Reddit AMA

November 23, 2020

Graduate students, staff, and faculty from MolES recently participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) about molecular engineering to help raise awareness about this growing discipline. Redditors from around the globe asked awesome questions - check out some of our favorites! [...]


Alshakim Nelson Named MolES Director of Education

November 2, 2020

Alshakim Nelson, UW associate professor of chemistry, has been named Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute (MolES) Director of Education. Nelson replaces Christine Luscombe, professor of chemistry and materials science & engineering, who served in the role prior to her recent appointment as interim chair of the Materials Science & Engineering Department. Nelson will lead the Molecular Engineering [...]


UW MolE welcomes new Ph.D. cohort

October 1, 2020

We are thrilled to welcome our newest cohort of molecular engineering (MolE) doctoral students to the University of Washington! Though this might not be the circumstances under which they envisioned starting graduate school, with some students even participating remotely from another state or country, we applaud our incoming students for their resilience and flexibility. Please join us in welcoming them to the UW and our molecular engineering community! Learn more about each student and their current research interests. [...]


MolE Alum receives 2020 Graduate School Dissertation Award

July 24, 2020

Recent MolE program alum Dan Lee was awarded the 2020 Distinguished Dissertation Award in mathematics, physical sciences and engineering from the UW Graduate School for his dissertation, "Synthesis of novel backbone functional polymers." As a graduate student in Suzie Pun's lab, Dan developed easily synthesized, biocompatible hydrogels that can conduct electricity and could be used to engineer cardiac or neural tissues among other applications. In this profile from the UW Graduate School, Dan shares how he found opportunities to innovate as a scientists and molecular engineer when things didn’t go according to plan. [...]


Designing proteins that can sequence DNA

May 14, 2020

Sinduja Marx has long been interested in developing miniaturized, parallelized and personalized sequencing and diagnostics tools. As a molecular engineering grad student in the labs of physics professor Jens Gundlach, and Institute for Protein Design director David Baker, Marx is designing synthetic biological channels for nanopore DNA sequencing and molecular diagnostics. In this Q&A, Marx talks about her research and advice for prospective grad students. [...]


Researchers identify rules for effectively regulating gene expression in bacteria

April 16, 2020

Jason Fontana, a molecular engineering Ph.D. student in the labs of chemical engineering professor James Carothers and chemistry professor Jesse Zalatan, has identified features of bacterial genes that impose strict requirements on CRISPR-Cas transcriptional activation tools. This work defines new strategies to effectively regulate gene expression in bacteria, bringing researchers closer to their goal of using bacteria to produce valuable biosynthetic products. Read this Q&A with Jesse Zalatan featured on the Science in Seattle blog. [...]


Fall 2019 molecular engineering Ph.D. graduates

February 13, 2020

Since launching the molecular engineering Ph.D. program in 2014, it has grown to include over 70 students working across the University of Washington on everything from designing and testing battery materials to designing proteins that can turn genes on or off at will. Congratulations to our latest graduates - Justin Davis, Dion Hubble and Grant Williamson! [...]


Collaborating for Clean Tech

January 24, 2020

MolE PhD student Ted Cohen shares how molecular engineering has opened new opportunities for collaboration. Cohen is a 4th year molecular engineering Ph.D. student co-advised by Professor of Chemistry Daniel Gamelin and Professors of Materials Science & Engineering Christine Luscombe and Devin Mackenzie. [...]


Hail to the fiber king: a profile of first MolE graduate

June 26, 2019

Hao Shen pioneered the creation of self-assembling protein fibers from scratch in the lab of UW Biochemistry professor David Baker. Hao was part of our first cohort of students and is the first student to receive a PhD in molecular engineering from the University of Washington. Read more about Hao's scientific journey! [...]


Synthetic peptide can inhibit toxicity, aggregation of protein in Alzheimer’s disease, researchers show

April 19, 2019

A team led by MolES faculty member and bioengineering Professor Valerie Daggett has developed synthetic peptides that target and inhibit the small, toxic protein aggregates that are thought to trigger Alzheimer’s disease. Dylan Shea, a molecular engineering PhD student in the Daggett lab, was the lead author on a new paper describing these findings, published April 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [...]


Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute
Scientists design protein filaments that snap themselves together like Lego blocks | Geekwire

November 8, 2018

Hao Shen, a molecular engineering PhD candidate in the lab of biochemistry Professor David Baker, was a lead author of a study published in Science describing the creation of self-assembling protein filaments from scratch. The filaments were built from identical protein subunits that snap together spontaneously to form long, helical, thread-like structures which could be used to create new materials for a range of applications, from diagnostics to nano-electronics. Learn more in a related Geekwire story! [...]


Ty Jorgenson
Navigating interdisciplinary research as a MolE PhD student

May 21, 2018

At the intersection of genetic engineering and nanoscience, second-year MolE PhD candidate Tyler (Ty) Jorgenson is developing a set of design rules for devices that join biology with solid-state materials. His research focuses on the self-assembly of solid-binding peptides and their interfaces with single-layer atomic (2D) materials, which he says is particularly promising for bioelectronic devices. [...]


Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute
Nanotech/Molecular Engineering Students Win Biz Plan Competition

May 27, 2015

Congratulations to Charlie Corredor and Renuka Ramanathan for their success in the 2015 UW Business Plan Competition. Each was a member of a team that won a seed money for their start-up businesses. Both Charlie and Renuka are Ph.D. candidates in the dual title degree in Nanotechnology & Molecular Engineering offer through the MolES Institute. [...]


Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute
Think Small for Big Impact: Molecular Engineering Ph.D.

November 18, 2014

Ph.D. Program in Molecular Engineering Offers Collaborative Environment Designed For Impact The University of Washington introduced a new graduate program in an emerging field of molecular science.  Starting in fall of 2014, pioneering students began a path of study that nurtures and develops their professional identities as versatile thinkers in Molecular Engineering, while they earning [...]