Jeffrey Jay Tabor, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2020
For engineering cells to sense light and chemicals with applications in optogenetics and medical, agricultural, and environmental biosensing.

Synthetic Biologists Use Novel Tool to “See” Signal Processing in Real Time

Via Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | August 26, 2022

Synthetic biologists at Rice University say they have developed the first method for observing the real-time activity of some of most common signal-processing circuits in bacteria, including deadly pathogens that use the circuits to increase their virulence as well as to develop antibiotic drug resistance.

Two-component systems are sensory circuits bacteria use to react to their surroundings and survive. Bacteria use the circuits, which are also known as signal transduction pathways, to sense an “unrivaled range of stimuli” from light and metal ions to pH and even messages from their friends and neighbors, said Rice bioengineering professor Jeffrey Tabor, PhD… Continue reading.


Engineered organism could diagnose Crohn’s Disease flare-ups

Via Rice University | May 17, 2021

In an important step toward the clinical application of synthetic biology, Rice University researchers have engineered a bacterium with the necessary capabilities for diagnosing a human disease.

The engineered strain of the gut bacteria E. coli senses pH and glows when it encounters acidosis, an acidic condition that often occurs during flareups of inflammatory bowel diseases like colitis, ileitis and Crohn’s disease.

Researchers at the University of Colorado (CU) School of Medicine used the Rice-created organism in a mouse model of Crohn’s disease to show acidosis activates a signature set of genes. The corresponding genetic signature in humans has previously been observed during active inflammation in Crohn’s disease patients. The results are available online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences… Continue reading.


Light flips genetic switch in bacteria inside transparent worms

Via Rice University | December 22, 2020

Baylor College of Medicine researcher Meng Wang had already shown that bacteria that make a metabolite called colanic acid (CA) could extend the lifespan of worms in her lab by as much as 50%, but her collaboration with Rice University synthetic biologist Jeffrey Tabor is providing tools to answer the bigger question of how the metabolite imparts longer life.

In a study published in eLife, Wang, Tabor and colleagues showed they could use different colors of light to turn gut bacteria genes on and off while the bacteria were in the intestines of worms. The work was made possible by an optogenetic control system Tabor has been developing for more than a decade… Continue reading.


Dr. Jeffrey Tabor Inducted into AIMBE College of Fellows

Via AIMBE | March 30, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the induction of Jeffrey Jay Tabor, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, to its College of Fellows.

Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a medical and biological engineer. The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers. College membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering and medicine research, practice, or education” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of medical and biological engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to bioengineering education.”

Dr. Tabor was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for “engineering cells to sense light and chemicals with applications in optogenetics and medical, agricultural, and environmental biosensing.