Hana El-Samad is the Kuo Family Endowed Professor and Vice Chair in the department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3). She is a 2009 Packard Fellow and recipient of many honors including the 2011 Donald. P Eckman Award and the 2012 CSB2 prize in Systems Biology. She was also named a Paul. G. Allen Distinguished Investigator in 2013, and senior investigator of the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub in 2017. Dr. El-Samad joined UCSF after obtaining a doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, preceded by a Ms Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Iowa State University. Dr. El-Samad’s research group seeks to deliver insights into biological feedback control, unraveling evolutionary successful principles of feedback strategies that are most appropriate for the biological substrate and achieving understanding at the right depth and granularity for forward engineering them with predictable outcomes. A major current focus of her research is to develop rationally designed, programmable, plug-and-play, cellular recognizance and repair circuits that can be broadly deployed for therapeutic (e.g. cell-based immunotherapy) and biotechnological (e.g. metabolic engineering and bioremediation) applications. Although an engineer by training, she believes biology presents more mind-boggling systems to study than technological systems. On her long commute in the bay area, she listens to audiobooks on topics ranging from a history of Bayesian analyses to obscure details of the Italian Renaissance.
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