The Lucks Lab and Northwestern featured prominently at the EBRC fall retreat!

Julius and Khalid recently attended the inaugural retreat of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) held at Caltech. EBRC ( aims to be the leading organization in the field of synthetic biology, showcasing cutting-edge research, identifying and addressing global challenges in the field, and building an inclusive community of students, trainees, academics, government and industry members. EBRC is the next chapter of Synberc, a multi-institutional community that was funded over a 10-year period by the National Science Foundation.

After chairing a morning session on day 1 of the retreat, Julius presented some of the lab’s recent work on the “RNA World Matrix,” describing Kyle, Eric and Angela’s latest work on Cotranscriptional SHAPE-Seq (read more here) and some unpublished work from James.

Khalid, who recently joined the Lucks Lab as a postdoc, presented a poster on one of his PhD projects, “Split-Broccoli.” This is the same project that Khalid brought with him to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Synthetic Biology Course last summer. For his work and poster presentation on engineering a fluorescence-activating split aptamer system that functions in vivo, Khalid took home one of three outstanding poster contribution awards.

Members of Northwestern’s Center for Synthetic Biology were also recognized at the inaugural EBRC retreat. Anne d’Aquino, a PhD student in the Jewett lab at Northwestern ( also took home an outstanding poster contribution award, and Ashty Karim, also in Mike Jewett’s lab, presented one of the publicly webcast keynote talks on “A Cell-Free Framework for Rapid Biosynthetic Pathway Prototyping.”

We’re looking forward to the next EBRC retreat, to be held at Northwestern on March 24th and 25th, 2017!