Welcome to the Rao lab

We are a synthetic and systems biology research group at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Our aim is to investigate cell physiology via genetic engineering and mathematical modeling.

Our lab studies how cells process information. We are especially interested in understanding how decision-making processes are encoded within individual cells through feedback control.

We are also engineering bacteria and yeast for the production of biofuels. Specifically, our goal is to optimize the uptake and metabolism of C5/C6 sugars in bacteria by developing new genetic tools.

We are grateful for funding from Illinois, Department of Energy and Shell.


Apr 2021

William and Danielle passed their prelims. Congratulations!

22 Feb 2021

William presented at the 2021 Genomic Sciences Program Annual PI meeting.

20 Nov 2019

Chris has been appointed as EBI Deputy Director.

21 Oct 2019

Welcome to the lab, Ebin!

25 Sept 2019

Girija was awarded first place at the poster presentation at Microbial Early-career Researchers Association (microERA) Research Symposium. Congratulations to her!

28 Jul 2019

Anshu and Girija featured in the 'List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent By Their Students' for their work as a TA in CHBE440, Process Control and Dynamics.

28. Jun 2019

Congratulations to Sujit for winning third place and a travel award at the CABBI annual retreat poster presentation!

16. May 2019

Payman defended! Congratulations

29. Apr 2019

Anshu, Girija and Sichong passed their prelims!

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