Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Welcome Professor Froekjaer Jensen

The Biological & Environmental Science & Engineering Division is very pleased to announce the appointment of yet another exemplary faculty - Prof. Christian Froekjaer Jensen.

He joined the Bioscience program as an Assistant Professor on the 9th of September. Prof. Froekjaer Jensen's primary research interests are in applying biological engineering to the simple genetic model organism C. elegans to understand how genomes are organized. He is the principal investigator in the Laboratory of Synthetic Genome Biology and he is affiliated with KAUST's Environmental Epigenetics Program (KEEP).

Professor Froekjaer Jensen's group is focused on understanding the cellular logic of cells. Cells are similar to tiny computers; in order to function, cells read and execute instructions based on code written as a DNA sequence. His lab uses genetics to understand how much of that code contains information. He studies epigenetics to understand how the code is modified by the environment and prior experience. And his lab develops synthetic biology approaches to write novel code in order to change cells and organisms. Professor Froekjaer Jensen has focused on the genetic model organism C. elegans mainly because of it's amenability to genetic engineering and small nervous system (302 neurons). One of the lab's long-term goals is to understand the cellular logic well enough to control every neuron independently and add novel neurons to the network. ‚Äč