Funded by the European Union (GA 101072980) and supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Rafael Montenegro Marín

Rafael Montenegro Marín

DC 11 - Intein-based logic gates for multiplexed designs

About your project

My project aims to develop biosensors by implementing intein-based logic gates to enable multiplexed designs and fast biosensing in cell-free systems. To do so, we will first characterize an intein toolbox for cell-free systems to then implement intein-based logic gates, and finally demonstrate such logic in biosensing applications.

About you

I am a biotechnologist from Costa Rica with a master’s in synthetic biology, aiming to work on synthetic biology applications. First, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology Engineering at the Costa Rican Institute of Technology (TEC) in 2018. Afterward, I worked as a research assistant for 2 years in Costa Rica. More precisely, I worked in environmental microbiology by studying the use of Pseudomonas putida for bioremediation purposes. Since my bachelor’s, and particularly after participating in iGEM, I decided to pursue a career in synthetic biology. Therefore, I subsequently moved to France, where I undertook my master’s in Systems and Synthetic Biology at Paris Saclay University from 2020 to 2022. For my master’s internship, I worked on implementing a genetic tool to study translation elongation cost in heterologous protein expression to improve synthetic circuit genetic design. This genetic tool included inteins as part of its design, which was a critical motivation to work on them for my Ph.D., particularly their protein splicing activity, which makes them unique tools with incredible biotechnological potential. 

During my master’s, I discovered myself an academic passion for the biological design behind synthetic biology applications. Consequently, I aim to apply biological design and engineering principles to synthetic biology applications that could reach the biotechnological field. I believe the SYNSENSO network is a unique opportunity to do research in synthetic biology within a multidisciplinary and collaborative environment while beneficiating from feedback from both academic and industrial partners. I look forward to collaborating within the network and designing biosensors for cell-free synthetic biology, an innovative approach within a promising and outgrowing field.  

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