The Maerkl lab conducts research at the interface of engineering and biology and we are active in the areas of systems biology, synthetic biology and molecular diagnostics. We are driven by our desire to learn how to rationally design and engineer biological systems. Unfortunately, despite a vast foundation of fundamental knowledge biologists have accumulated over the last century, it remains difficult to engineer biological systems, indicating that basic biological research alone is not sufficient to enable biological engineering. We believe that injecting engineering concepts into biology such as reverse engineering, quantitative analysis, and computational/biophysical modeling will enable biological engineering and fundamentally change how the scientific community and the general public uses biological systems in the 21st century. Our specific biological interests lie primarily in reverse engineering gene regulatory networks, transcriptional regulation, transcription factor biophysics, protein engineering, and in developing next-generation molecular diagnostics. Progress in biological engineering is also heavily dependent on technological and methodological innovation. To address these requirements we are constantly developing novel, state-of-the-art microfluidic technology and molecular methods to address current limitations in biological engineering and other fields.