Matthew Chang

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Nanyang Technological University
Chang, Matthew

Dr. Matthew Chang is an assistant professor of the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. He received Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, USA, and B.S. from Seoul National University, Korea. His honors include the Scientific and Technological Achievement Award from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr. Chang has published over 50 research articles in the fields of biochemical engineering and synthetic biology. His primary research interests are in the development of synthetic microbes for engineering applications.

Wed July 10 | 11:00 - 1:00 | Plenary Session
ABSTRACT: Synthetic microbes engineered for therapeutic applications

Synthetic biology aims to engineer genetically modified biological systems that perform novel functions that do not exist in nature, with reusable, standard interchangeable biological parts. The use of these standard biological parts enables the exploitation of common engineering principles such as standardization, decoupling, and abstraction for synthetic biology. With this engineering framework in place, synthetic biology has the potential to make the construction of novel biological systems a predictable, reliable, systematic process. While the development of most biological systems remains largely ad hoc, recent efforts to implement an engineering framework in synthetic biology have provided long-awaited evidences that engineering principles can facilitate the construction of novel biological systems. In this talk, our recent efforts to develop therapeutic microbes with programmable functionalities will be presented. In particular, an emphasis will be placed on our development of synthetic probiotics, equipped with clinically relevant functionalities such as pathogen detection, antimicrobial molecule release, directed movement, and biofilm reduction, that showed effective antimicrobial activities against target human pathogens in in vitro and eukaryotic infection models. This development suggests the possibility that probiotics could potentially be engineered for prevention and treatment of target infectious diseases, which may provide an antimicrobial strategy that is complementary to current antibiotic therapies.