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Date(s) - 04/05/2024
9:00 am - 10:00 am


Leonidas Bleris, PhD

Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science, University of Texas at Dallas




Date: Friday, April 5, 2024

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Location: PSH 152


The field of genome editing is experiencing a renaissance driven primarily by the repurposing of an immune response system utilized by bacteria and archaea. This system is characterized by the presence of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) stored in host genomes as memories of phage-bacteria interactions. The use of the CRISPR system in higher organisms (including mammalian cells and animal models) has spurred myriads of applications critically relevant to biomanufacturing and human health. We discuss results at the interface of mammalian synthetic biology and genome editing. More specifically, we introduce genetic Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs), a foundational security primitive for establishing provenance attestation protocols for confirming cell line authenticity and age. Additionally, we discuss our progress towards understanding and identifying much needed treatment options for solitary fibrous tumors (SFT), a nonhereditary cancer resulting by an intrachromosomal gene fusion between NAB2 and STAT6 on chromosome 12.


eonidas Bleris is a Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science, a TI Distinguished Bioengineering Faculty Fellow, and the Associate Head in the Bioengineering Department of the University of Texas at Dallas. Before joining UTD, Bleris was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University. Bleris earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University in 2006. He received a Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2000 from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Bleris was awarded the Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship from the National Academy of Science (NAS) and served with the Board of Mathematical Sciences and their Applications. During 2008-2018 was an Independent Expert with the European Commission under the “Science, Economy and Society” directorate. Bleris received the 2014 Junior Faculty Research Award from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. His research has focused on systems biology, mammalian synthetic biology and genome editing, and has been supported from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) including the NSF CAREER award.