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.

Our group also has a focus on other feedstocks such as C1 (methane, formate), C2 (acetate), and CN (aliphatic polymers like polyethylene) for remediation and valorization purposes.

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


Oct 2022

Welcome to the lab: Thanh, Cindy, and Keertna. Lab is starting to look busy now!

Sept 2022

Joshua passed his qualifying exam. Congratulations!

May 2022

Sichong defended! Congratulations and good luck at Genomatica

May 2022

Anshu defended! Congratulations and good luck at NAID

April 2022

Girija defended! Congratulations and good luck at Abcellera

Feb 2022

Farewell to Payman! He will be joining BP Bioscience after over a decade in this lab

Oct 2021

Welcome to the lab, Joshua!

Jun 2022

Farewell to Xiao Yi! He will be returning overseas at Core Facility Center at Nanjing

Apr 2021

William and Danielle passed their prelims. Congratulations!

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