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Julius B. Lucks : Faculty Experts

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Julius B. Lucks

McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Associate Chair of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Member, Center for Synthetic Biology
Member, Center for Water Research
Member, Chemistry of Life Processes Institute


Areas of Focus

  • Water security and water quality
  • Synthetic biology and computational biology
  • Dynamic structural biology
  • RNA biology and engineering
  • RNA folding
  • Gene expression control and programming


  • Researches fundamental questions about the molecules of life
  • Studies how RNA (DNA's close chemical cousin) acts as a mini molecular computer inside cells, allowing it to continuously monitor the status of itself and the environment
  • Translates fundamental knowledge into new ways to engineer biological systems for the health of humans and the planet
  • Recent work has applications in sustainable biomanufacturing and biosensors, and low-cost diagnostics for water quality and human health


Lucks has been recognized with a number of awards including a DARPA Young Faculty Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, an ONR Young Investigator Award, an NIH New Innovator Award, an NSF CAREER award, the ACS Synthetic Biology Young Investigator Award and a Camille-Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award. Lucks is also heavily invested in helping to train the next generation of scientists and engineers through his co-founding of the Cold Spring Harbor Synthetic Biology Summer Course and his roles as a founding board member of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium. Visit the Lucks Lab website for more information.