Howard Salis is an Associate Professor of Biological Engineering and Chemical Engineering at Penn State University. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Chris Voigt lab at UC San Francisco, and began his faculty position at Penn State University in 2010. Prof. Salis received the DARPA Young Faculty Award and NSF Career Award for his research on developing predictive biophysical models for engineering synthetic genetic systems. He thoroughly enjoys the challenge of predicting the behaviors of complex biological systems.
The Salis Lab engineers micro-organisms for Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering applications. We quantify the rules by which organisms decode their DNA and execute complex functions, developing and experimentally validating biophysical models of gene expression, regulation, and system function. We apply our models and algorithms to engineer cellular sensors, genetic circuits, and metabolic pathways with important biotech applications. Our models also improve the understanding of natural biological functions. We develop and maintain a highly popular & user-friendly software design platform with over 7500 registered life science researchers who have designed over 300,000 synthetic DNA sequences for their own applications.