Jeffrey Barrick

Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Jeffrey E. Barrick is an Associate Professor of Molecular Biosciences and a member of the Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 2001 and his Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 2006. Dr. Barrick performed his thesis research on the discovery and characterization of metabolite-sensing riboswitches in bacteria under the direction of Ronald Breaker. He was then a postdoctoral fellow from 2006 to 2010 with Richard Lenski at Michigan State University where he studied genome dynamics in a 25-year laboratory evolution experiment with Escherichia coli. His honors include an NSF CAREER Award, an NIH Pathway to Independence Award, and an RNA Society/Scaringe Young Scientist Award. Dr. Barrick’s research is at the interface of synthetic biology and microbial experimental evolution. His laboratory is interested in improving the reliability of biological engineering by developing methods to anticipate and prevent unwanted evolution of designed DNA sequences, in understanding how expanded genetic codes impact the evolutionary potential of organisms, and in engineering insect-associated bacterial symbionts for applications in agriculture. They create and maintain open-source software tools for identifying mutations in microbial genomes from next-generation DNA sequencing data (breseq) and for predicting DNA sequences prone to unwanted evolution (EFM Calculator).

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