Mauricio Antunes

Mauricio AntunesSpecial Assistant Professor
Office: Biology 244
Phone: 970-491-5947
Education: Ph.D., Purdue University

I am interested in developing artificially-controlled genetic networks to program plants and plant cells to perform desired functions. Synthetic genetic switches can be introduced into plants to precisely control gene expression, rewiring natural signaling and metabolic pathways, or generating novel traits. Engineering these systems to behave according to specific inputs can serve both basic research and field-applied purposes, allowing applications that range from enhancing crop productivity to on-demand bio-manufacturing (pharmaceuticals, biofuels, etc.).

Selected Publications

Feng J, Jester BW, Tinberg CE, Mandell DJ, Antunes MS, Chari R, Morey KJ, Rios X, Medford JI, Church GM, Fields S, Baker D. (2015) eLife; 4:e10606. doi: 10.7554/eLife.10606

Schaumberg KA, Antunes MS, Kassaw TK, Xu W, Zalewski CS, Medford JI, Prasad A (2015). Quantitative characterization of genetic parts and circuits for plant synthetic biology. Nature Methods, doi:10.1038/nmeth.3659

Antunes MS, Smith JJ, Jantz D, Medford JI (2012) Targeted DNA excision in Arabidopsis by a re-engineered homing endonuclease. BMC Biotechnol., 12(1):86

Morey KJ, Antunes MS, Barrow MJ, Solorzano F A, Havens KL, Smith JJ, Medford J (2012)  Crosstalk between endogenous and synthetic components – synthetic signaling meets endogenous components. Biotechnol. J., 7:846-855.

Antunes MS, Morey KJ, Smith JJ, Albrecht KD, Bowen TA, Zdunek JK, Troupe JF, Cuneo MJ, Webb CT, Hellinga HW, Medford JI (2011) Programmable ligand detection system in plants through a synthetic signal transduction pathway. PLoS One, 6(1):e16292.

Antunes MS, Morey KJ, Tewari-Singh N, Bowen TA, Smith JJ, Webb CT, Hellinga HW, Medford JI (2009) Engineering key components in a synthetic eukaryotic signal transduction pathway. Mol Syst Biol., 5:270.

Shaw AK, Medford JI, Antunes MS, McConnick WS, Wicker, D (2007) Hyperspectral exploitation with plant sentinels.  Proc. SPIE, 6554 (Chemical and Biological Sensing VIII): S5540.

Antunes MS, Ha SB, Tewari-Singh N, Morey KJ, Trofka AM, Kugrens P, Deyholos M, Medford JI (2006) A synthetic de-greening gene circuit provides a reporting system that is remotely detectable and has a re-set capacity. Plant Biotechnol J., 4(6):605-22.