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Scholarly Interest Report
James Chappell
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor
  • Ph.D. Molecular Biosciences (2013) Imperial College London, London
  • B.Sc Biochemistry (2008) Imperial College London, London
Primary Department
   Department of BioSciences
Department Affiliations
  • Department of Bioengineering
    Research Areas
     T​he goal of the Chappell lab is to forward our ability to understand and engineer the bacteria domain of life. Central to this is our ability to control how cells express their genetic code. Our lab focuses on understanding how the biomolecule RNA can be designed to create synthetic regulators of gene expression—allowing for the manipulation of natural cellular processes to elicit deeper biological understanding and for the engineering of new synthetic cellular functions. As such our lab focuses both on the creation of new gene regulatory tools and their application.
    Selected Publications
     Refereed articles

    Chappell, James; Westbrook, Alexandra; Verosloff, Matthew; Lucks, Julius B; "Computational design of small transcription activating RNAs for versatile and dynamic gene regulation." Nature communications, 8 (2017) : 1051.


    Wen, Ke Yan; Cameron, Loren; Chappell, James; Jensen, Kirsten; Bell, David J; Kelwick, Richard; Kopniczky, Margarita; Davies, Jane C; Filloux, Alain; Freemont, Paul S; "A Cell-Free Biosensor for Detecting Quorum Sensing Molecules in P. aeruginosa-Infected Respiratory Samples." ACS synthetic biology (2017)


    Chappell, James; Lucks, Julius B; "Turning It Up to 11: Modular Proteins Amplify RNA Sensors for Sophisticated Circuitry." Cell systems, 3 (2016) : 509-511.


    Meyer, Sarai; Chappell, James; Sankar, Sitara; Chew, Rebecca; Lucks, Julius B; "Improving fold activation of small transcription activating RNAs (STARs) with rational RNA engineering strategies." Biotechnology and bioengineering, 113 (2016) : 216-225.


    Chappell, James; Takahashi, Melissa K; Lucks, Julius B; "Creating small transcription activating RNAs." Nature chemical biology, 11 (2015) : 214-220.


    Chappell, James; Watters, Kyle E; Takahashi, Melissa K; Lucks, Julius B; "A renaissance in RNA synthetic biology: new mechanisms, applications and tools for the future." Current opinion in chemical biology, 28 (2015) : 47-56.


    Takahashi, Melissa K; Hayes, Clarmyra A; Chappell, James; Sun, Zachary Z; Murray, Richard M; Noireaux, Vincent; Lucks, Julius B; "Characterizing and prototyping genetic networks with cell-free transcription¿ranslation reactions." Methods, 86 (2015) : 60-72.


    Takahashi, Melissa K; Chappell, James; Hayes, Clarmyra A; Sun, Zachary Z; Kim, Jongmin; Singhal, Vipul; Spring, Kevin J; Al-Khabouri, Shaima; Fall, Christopher P; Noireaux, Vincent; "Rapidly characterizing the fast dynamics of RNA genetic circuitry with cell-free transcription¿ranslation (TX-TL) systems." ACS synthetic biology, 4 (2014) : 503-515.


    Chappell, James; Jensen, Kirsten; Freemont, Paul S; "Validation of an entirely in vitro approach for rapid prototyping of DNA regulatory elements for synthetic biology." Nucleic acids research, 41 (2013) : 3471-3481.


    Chappell, James; Takahashi, Melissa K; Meyer, Sarai; Loughrey, David; Watters, Kyle E; Lucks, Julius; "The centrality of RNA for engineering gene expression." Biotechnology journal, 8 (2013) : 1379-1395.

     Book chapters

    Chappell, J. and Freemont, P.S "Synthetic biology – A new generation of biofilm biosensors." The Science and Applications of Synthetic and Systems Biology,, 8 (2011) : 159–178.