Kirsten and Walter join the lab!

The Lucks Lab is excited to (belatedly) announce that Kirsten Jung and Walter Thavarajah have joined the lab! Both Kirsten and Walter are Ph.D. students in Northwestern’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Kirsten joins us after completing her bachelors in Chemical Engineering with a minor in music (piano/oboe) from Columbia University in the CityContinue reading “Kirsten and Walter join the lab!”

Former postdoc James Chappell named a Sloan Foundation Research Fellow!

James Chappell, a former postdoc in the lab and now a professor at Rice University (, is one of 126 early career scholars recognized today as a 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow! For over 60 years the Sloan Foundation has awarded fellowships to early career scientists of exceptional promise. The Fellowship is one ofContinue reading “Former postdoc James Chappell named a Sloan Foundation Research Fellow!”

“Computational design of STARs for versatile and dynamic gene regulation” now published in Nature Communications!

  Research led by a former Lucks Lab postdoc, Dr. James Chappell (now an Assistant Professor in BioSciences at Rice University), was recently published in Nature Communications. The research article “Computational design of small transcription activating RNAs for versatile and dynamic gene regulation” describes the lab’s latest work on a novel and synthetic mechanism forContinue reading ““Computational design of STARs for versatile and dynamic gene regulation” now published in Nature Communications!”

Dr. Molly Evans joins the lab!

Dr. Molly Evans, Ph.D., has joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow! Molly comes to us from the opposite side of Chicago, where she recently defended her Ph.D. dissertation, “Expanding high-throughput sequencing to investigate RNA biology,” in the lab of Dr. Tao Pan (University of Chicago, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics). During her Ph.D. training, Molly developedContinue reading “Dr. Molly Evans joins the lab!”

Our first lab manager, Andrea Thompson, joins the lab!

The Lucks Lab recently hired our first lab manager, Andrea Thompson! Andrea officially joins our lab as a research technologist, where she’ll be responsible for management and oversight of several of our critical lab processes. Andrea joins us after stints at one of Chicago’s landmark institutions, The Field Museum of Natural History. At The FieldContinue reading “Our first lab manager, Andrea Thompson, joins the lab!”

Angela Yu wins best talk award at the Rustbelt RNA Meeting!

Several members of the Lucks Lab RNA structure team recently travelled to Indianapolis, Indiana for the 2017 Rustbelt RNA Meeting (RRM). RRM is described as a “regional scientific meeting that gathers scientists from throughout the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic United States to discuss RNA-related biomedical research.” RRM places a large focus on sharing ideas, fostering collaborations,Continue reading “Angela Yu wins best talk award at the Rustbelt RNA Meeting!”

Lucks Lab members win prestigious fellowships!

Congratulations to one of our postdocs, Dr. Eric Strobel, and two of our newest graduate students, Luyi Cheng and Adam Silverman, on securing fellowships! Eric is one of 20 recipients of the Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2017 through the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. These fellowships are awarded to postdocs “with the highest potential for successContinue reading “Lucks Lab members win prestigious fellowships!”

Julius is interviewed on the GeneMods podcast!

GeneMods, Northwestern University’s Synthetic Biology club, have been producing an informative and entertaining podcast that covers the latest in synthetic biology news. For their most recent episode, “Hello, RNA World!,” they interviewed Julius Lucks to discuss the features of RNA that make it such a fascinating and engineerable molecule. Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud or on iTunes.  

Julius is quoted in IEEE Spectrum on “ribocomputing”

A new paper in Nature by Alexander Green et al. on “Cellular logic computation using ribocomputing devices”  describes a 12-input logic gate that operates at the post-transcriptional level (i.e. as switchable RNA toeholds). IEEE Spectrum, the flagship magazine of the world’s largest professional engineering organization, reached out to Julius for his take on the work. ClickContinue reading “Julius is quoted in IEEE Spectrum on “ribocomputing””