Dr Mark Isalan is a Reader in Gene Network Engineering at Imperial College London and runs a research group in systems and synthetic biology in the Department of Life Sciences.

His main research interests are protein and gene network engineering. The group engineers gene circuits in bacterial and mammalian cells, answering basic questions on how to engineer patterns and structures, as well as more applied work towards human gene therapy.

Mark Isalan originally trained in protein engineering and his Ph.D. involved engineering zinc fingers to bind new DNA sequences (MRC LMB, Cambridge UK, 1996-2000). Continuing with a postdoc in industry (Gendaq Ltd, UK/Sangamo Biosciences, Richmond CA; 2000-2002), this ultimately contributed to the CompoZr zinc finger nucleases that are available commercially from Sigma Aldrich.

He was then awarded a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship for engineering artificial gene networks (EMBL Heidelberg 2002-2006). 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 in 2013 and ongoing work aims to design biological systems that behave predictably and robustly.

Links to key publications