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ESP Biography



ALEKSANDRA NIVINA, Postdoctotal researcher at Stanford




Major: Not available.

College/Employer: Stanford

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Aleksandra Nivina

Brief Biographical Sketch:

When I was choosing a field for my undergraduate studies back in France, I decided on the School of Pharmacy. It was fine, but I wasn't quite happy. Then on my 4th year of studies I fell in love with synthetic biology. Some people feel that "synthetic biology" is just a fancier name for genetic engineering, but for me the main difference is that it's more interdisciplinary. Synthetic biology enriches genetic engineering with approaches from electric engineering, computational biology, biophysics and many others.
I obtained my PharmD anyways, but I also got an MSc and a PhD in synthetic biology. I'm now doing research as a postdoc here at Stanford, working on projects combining bacterial genetics with computational biology and biochemistry.



Past Classes

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B6449: How to Program a Cell as if it were a Computer in Splash Spring 2018
Living cells are in many ways similar to computers: their functioning depends on the code that they contain. Computers use digits “0” and “1”, and cells use nucleotides “A”, “T”, “G” and “C”. Like a computer code, the genetic code can also be written, read, modified or hacked. In this class, you will see how far the parallel between computer code and genetic code goes, and find out how genetic engineers program cells. In groups, you will write simple programs that a bacterium could execute.