James Collins

Professor, Biomedical Engineering
William F. Warren Distinguished Professor
University Professor

Expertise:
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Education:

AB, Physics, College of the Holy Cross
PhD, Medical Engineering, University of Oxford

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Dr. Collins’s research focuses on developing nonlinear dynamical techniques and devices to characterize, improve and mimic biological function. His specific interests include: (1) modeling, designing, and constructing synthetic gene networks; (2) reverse engineering naturally occurring gene regulatory networks; and (3) developing noise-based sensory prosthetics. He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the… Read more

Dr. Collins’s research focuses on developing nonlinear dynamical techniques and devices to characterize, improve and mimic biological function. His specific interests include: (1) modeling, designing, and constructing synthetic gene networks; (2) reverse engineering naturally occurring gene regulatory networks; and (3) developing noise-based sensory prosthetics. He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. In 2003, he received a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award”, becoming the first bio-engineer to receive this honor.

 

In the Media

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  • Atlas biotech gets $29M to create healing bacteria

    July 22, 2014

    Boston Business Journal James Collins, College of Engineering Eight months after Flagship Ventureslaunched its biotech to develop drugs based on microorganisms in the human body, Atlas Venture today announced $29 million in financing for its entry into that field… Expert quote: “Bacteria have been shown to be an ideal vector for the production and delivery of drugs for […]

  • The war on superbugs

    July 16, 2014

    Science News for Students James Collins, College of Engineering Antibiotics are wonder drugs. They treat a range of bacterial infections, from battle wounds and pneumonia to tuberculosis and pinkeye. But these medicines are losing their edge. Germs are becoming immune to the drugs that had been created to slay them. This dangerous trend has been emerging […]

  • Inside the Din, Cells Fight Noise With Noise

    May 27, 2014

    Quanta Magazine James Collins, College of Engineering For cellphone whisperers, families that live near highways, airports or trains, music-loving commuters, and even individual cells, noise is an inescapable fact of life… Expert quote: “It’s like when the president gives a State of the Union address, and they send one member of the cabinet to an […]

  • Defeating the ‘superbugs’: New inventions to kill drug-resistant disease

    May 22, 2014

    Al Jazeera America James Collins, College of Engineering In the battle against disease-causing microbes, the bugs now seem to be winning. Antibiotic drugs, which were once so good at eliminating bacterial infections of all kinds, are rapidly losing the ability to control disease, a problem that gets worse every year… Expert quote: “You could use […]

  • Balance training moves to high-end gyms

    April 23, 2014

    Boston Globe (subscription required) James Collins, College of Engineering Athletes of all ages are working on their stability to improve stamina and minimize injuries… Expert quote: “But now we are looking at possible markets that would include performance enhancement for people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. These [shin and knee wraps] could play a […]

  • Overcoming Resistance

    April 1, 2014

    The Scientist James Collins, College of Engineering Although researchers and drug developers have been sounding warnings for years about bacteria out-evolving medicine’s arsenal of antibiotics, the crisis is coming to a head. In the United States alone, some 23,000 people are killed each year by infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria, according to the Centers for […]

  • Scientists produce synthetic yeast chromosome, with help from Hopkins students

    March 27, 2014

    The Baltimore Sun James Collins, College of Engineering With the help of Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering students who spent years stringing bits of DNA together, scientists have built the world’s first synthetic yeast chromosome, which eventually could help the production of drugs, vaccines, biofuels and even beer… Expert quote: “This development enables new experiments on […]

  • Scientists Create Synthetic Yeast Chromosome (And Unlock the Future of Beer)

    March 27, 2014

    Popular Mechanics James Collins, College of Engineering From pest-resistant corn to creepy glowing fish, genetically engineered organisms are creeping into our lives. But most of today’s GMOs vary marginally from the original animal or plant—there is an addition or deletion of a couple genes, which is like adding or scrubbing a line from Hamlet and […]

  • Scientists create first ‘designer chromosome’

    March 27, 2014

    USA Today James Collins, College of Engineering Researchers have chopped, spliced and manipulated DNA to craft the first extensively modified “designer chromosome,” a genetic structure carefully engineered to spur scientific discovery… Expert quote: “The result is a tour-de-force in synthetic biology.” View full article

  • Can plants take on new roles with tiny carbon materials?

    March 23, 2014

    USA Today James Collins, College of Engineering Infusing tiny carbon particles into plants could boost their photosynthesis but also help in their abilities to monitor for pollution and the presence of biochemicals… Expert quote: “I thought it was fascinating. This opens up more rapid ways you can modify organisms together.” View full article

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