Pamela Silver

Work and research

En savoir plusHarvard Medical School

What can we build with biology? We use a synthetic biology approach to understanding biological systems through design, making new biological structures with proteins and nucleic acids, new genetic networks, and new metabolic pathways with applications in basic science, medicine, and the environment. Our designs derive from what we learn from systems biological analyses. Current projects use mammalian cells, plants, simple eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Understanding how to program cells in a rational way will have value, for example, in stem cell design, drug therapy and the environment.

Some primary project areas include: Designing novel genetic pathways in mammalian cells, S. cerevisiae, and prokaryotes to probe basic cell biology, to better understand cancer initiation and progression, and to design potential diagnostics and therapeutics; and Engineering metabolism for sustainably by producing medicines, commodity chemicals, and fuels to understand and optimizing photosynthetic carbon fixation in cyanobacteria and plants and developing novel electrofuel producers. Other projects include organization of interactions within and between cells with novel scaffolds.

In sum, we seek to predictably design biology to address pressing issues in health and sustainability using state of the art technologies. Students have the opportunity to contribute to many active projects in these areas and to develop their own related ideas in an exciting environment.

En savoir plusSilver Lab

Our overarching goal is the rapid and predictable reprogramming of cells of all types. We seek to implement design strategies used by Nature as well as to go where evolution may not readily go. The implications of our work range from developing systems to study biological processes, novel therapeutics and the environment. Although diverse, all projects have an underlying connection.

En savoir plusHer page on the Wyss Institute website

En savoir plusSynberc (Synthetic biology engineering research center)

Synberc is a multi-university research center established in 2006 with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help lay the foundation for synthetic biology. Its mission is 1) to develop the basic knowledge and tools so we can design and assemble biological systems to accomplish many complex tasks; 2) to train a new cadre of researchers who will specialize in synthetic biology; and 3) to develop and share best practices for the safe and ethical development of the field.

Research group "Practices"
Leader : Drew Endy
Other participant : George Church
"We are working with all Synberc researchers and partners to advance the practice of synthetic biology responsibly, to the benefit of all people and the planet. From summer high school students to principal investigators, along with industry and government partners, we envision that each member of the Synberc community can help consider and develop leading examples of responsible synthetic biology in practice."


  • For a complete listing of Pamela Silver's publications click here


Harvard Medical School
Warren Alpert Building, Room 420
200 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-432-6401
Fax: 617-432-5012


Visit her lab page here