Synthetic Biology, Regenerative Medicine, Genome Engineering, Stem Cell Engineering.
The major research thrusts in the Mali laboratory can be categorized as follows: one, development of genome and transcriptome engineering toolsets and their application to systematic genome interpretation and gene therapy applications; and two, study and engineering of gene regulatory networks and cellular niches governing cell fate specification during development utilizing human pluripotent stem cells as the core model system. Given the parallels in phenotypes (such as self-renewal and tumor forming ability) between pluripotent stem cells and cancer cells, a key research thrust is also in dissecting aberrant cellular transformation processes such as during tumorigenesis. As such, the research program lies at the interface of technology development and basic science, and combines core expertise in synthetic biology and regenerative medicine, with instrumentation and materials engineering.
Prashant Mali is a faculty member in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego. His research is in the fields of synthetic biology and regenerative medicine, with a long-term focus on developing tools for enabling gene and cell based human therapeutics. In this regard, he has helped pioneer the development of CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful genome editing tool derived from microbial systems, with wide applications in both basic biology and human therapeutics. More recently, he is focused on the development of RNA and protein targeting tools derived from endogenous human systems.
Mali received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University, and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Genetics at the Harvard Medical School. He has received multiple awards including the Siebel Scholar Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award, the March of Dimes Basil O’Conner Scholar Award, the Kimmel Scholar Award, Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow, and the Young Alumnus Achiever Award from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.