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Overview: We combine protein engineering techniques with synthetic biology principles to create new molecular-genetic tools for observing biological processes using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Inspired by the scientific impact of fluorescent reporters, our goal is to develop MRI reporters that permit molecular events to be noninvasively studied in deep tissues and over large fields of view. Beyond MRI, we are also interested in optical imaging with an emphasis on two main areas: constructing oxygen-independent fluorescence proteins and engineering fully genetic systems for autonomous bioluminescence imaging.
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