Andrew Ellington
Job Title
Research Interests

The Ellington lab is primarily interested in high-throughput synthetic biology methods for the development of diagnostics and therapeutics. During the pandemic, we developed a wide variety of diagnostic assays that are being commercialized, including engineering novel new polymerases for stability and speed in POC assays. These efforts were abetted by the development of machine learning methods for protein engineering, which we have now successfully applied to a wide variety of proteins, including enzymes involved in the degradation of plastic waste. Further efforts at engineering transcription factors (biosensors) and enzymes revolve around high-throughput robotic platforms for cloning and screening, and emulsion-based directed evolution methods. These platforms have to date yielded interesting sensors and enzymes for alkaloid biosynthetic pathways, and for the dissection and modulation of human receptors, such as GPCRs and ion channels, in tractable yeast systems. Between these approaches, we hope to both make and test neuromodulatory compounds that can aid in non-addictive pain suppression and neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, in order to better program neural systems we have developed molecular interfaces between cells and electrochemical devices, based in part on new and exciting discoveries in the chemistry of biological electron transport.