Imperial College London

Professor Mark Isalan - Deputy Head of Department

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Professor of Synthetic Biology



+44 (0)20 7594 6482m.isalan




509Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Mark Isalan carried out a Ph.D. in engineering zinc fingers to bind new DNA sequences at the MRC LMB, in the University of Cambridge UK,1996-2000. This work was supervised by Prof. Sir Aaron Klug, OM, FRS, and continued postdoctorally from 2000-2002 at Gendaq Ltd, UK (now owned by Sangamo Biosciences, Richmond CA). The work ultimately contributed to the CompoZr zinc finger nucleases now available commercially from Sigma Aldrich. From 2002-2006 Dr. Isalan was awarded a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship to carry out research on engineering artificial gene networks in Prof. Luis Serrano's group at the EMBL Heidelberg, Germany. From 2006-2013 he was a group leader at the EMBL-CRG Systems Biology Unit in Barcelona, specialising in synthetic gene network engineering. He moved to Imperial College London in 2013 and continues to work in protein and gene network engineering, aiming to design biological systems that behave predictably and robustly.



Isalan Group Photo


Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Broto A, Gaspari E, Miravet-Verde S, et al., 2022, A genetic toolkit and gene switches to limit Mycoplasma growth for biosafety applications, Nature Communications, Vol:13, ISSN:2041-1723

Broedel A, Rodrigues R, Jaramillo A, et al., 2020, Accelerated evolution of a minimal 63-amino acid dual transcription factor, Science Advances, Vol:6, ISSN:2375-2548, Pages:1-9

Broedel AK, Jaramillo A, Isalan M, 2016, Engineering orthogonal dual transcription factors for multi-input synthetic promoters, Nature Communications, Vol:7, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-9

Agustín-Pavón C, Mielcarek M, Garriga-Canut M, et al., 2016, Deimmunization for gene therapy: host matching of synthetic zinc finger constructs enables long-term mutant Huntingtin repression in mice, Molecular Neurodegeneration, Vol:11, ISSN:1750-1326, Pages:1-16

Schaerli Y, Munteanu A, Gili M, et al., 2014, A unified design space of synthetic stripe-forming networks, Nature Communications, Vol:5, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-10

Garriga-Canut M, Agustin-Pavon C, Herrmann F, et al., 2012, Synthetic zinc finger repressors reduce mutant huntingtin expression in the brain of R6/2 mice, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:109, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:E3136-E3145

Isalan M, 2009, Gene networks and liar paradoxes, Bioessays, Vol:31, ISSN:0265-9247, Pages:1110-1115

Isalan M, Lemerle C, Michalodimitrakis K, et al., 2008, Evolvability and hierarchy in rewired bacterial gene networks, Nature, Vol:452, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:840-U2

Isalan M, Lemerle C, Serrano L, 2005, Engineering gene networks to emulate <i>Drosophila</i> embryonic pattern formation, PLOS Biology, Vol:3, ISSN:1544-9173, Pages:488-496

Isalan M, Klug A, Choo Y, 2001, A rapid, generally applicable method to engineer zinc fingers illustrated by targeting the HIV-1 promoter, Nature Biotechnology, Vol:19, ISSN:1087-0156, Pages:656-660

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