Jicong Cao

Jicong Cao


Dr. Cao is currently a postdoctoral associate at Tim Lu lab in Synthetic Biology Center at MIT. He has been working in the area of synthetic biology and molecular biology for more than 8 years, and he has extensive experience in genetic circuit design, genome editing, optogeneics and RNA regulation.
His current research focuses on genome editing, cis-elements screening and protein drug manufacturing. His Ph.D. research united design principles of synthetic transcriptional systems and the mechanism of translation to invent new synthetic RNA systems. He has published research papers on many prestigious journals, such as Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Nature Nanotechnology, Nucleic Acids Research, and Nature Communications.

Biochemistry Bioengineering Biotechnology Cell Biology Genetics Infectious Diseases Microbiology Molecular Biology Synthetic Biology

Work details

Postdoctoral Associate

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
September 2014
Biologica Engineering
Dr. Cao developed new systems to control gene expression and constructed genetic switches to regulate protein expression in mammalian and bacterial cells. Next-generation sequencing and genetic testing • Developed a novel genetic elements screening method with high efficiency. • Constructed lentiviral library of 5’-UTRs and screened for the hits that enhanced protein expression from CMV promoter in human muscle cells. Protein drug production and purification • Designed and optimized orthogonally small-molecule inducible gene expression systems in Pichia pastrois (yeast) to produce up to three therapeutic proteins on demand. • Developed a flexible and integrated protein production platform to produce multi-component biologics at defined ratios: combination drugs and monoclonal antibody mixtures. • The platform consisting of different protein co-production strategies allowed the production of various therapeutic proteins or combination drugs concurrently.

Graduate Research Assistant

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
August 2009 - August 2014
Chemical Engineering
Dr. Cao developed light-inducible gene expression systems in mammalian cells and engineered RNA binding domains to control translation.

PeerJ Contributions