The Mimee Lab leverages synthetic biology to engineer the microbiome, exploring strategies to modify commensal bacteria and bacteriophage for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Commensal Engineering

Our microbial inhabitants are well-attuned to their environment; they are attentive to physiological changes and secrete molecules to help nurture a healthy relationship with their host. We are developing strategies to design synthetic host-microbe interactions, to create living therapeutics that preserve homeostasis and stave off disease.  Our aims in commensal engineering are:

  1. To develop microbial sensors of gastrointestinal biomarkers
  2. To design synthetic genetic circuits to program commensal function
  3. To modulate host immunity in the gut mucosa
  4. To invent new genetic tools to modify and domesticate previously intractable commensal microorganisms

Bacteriophage Engineering

While broad-spectrum antibiotics have been the mainstay of subtractive microbiome therapeutics, more selective agents will be necessary to precisely engineer the microbiome. We aim to employ natural and engineered bacteriophage to shape host-associated bacterial communities. Our aims in bacteriophage engineering are:

  1. To remodel microbial communities and treat infectious disease with natural bacteriophage
  2. To define the limitations of natural bacteriophage  as therapeutic agents
  3. To genetically engineer phage to augment therapeutic properties