Wilfred Chen

Gore Professor of Chemical Engineering

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 

224 Colburn Lab, University of Delaware, Newark DE 19716

Phone: 302.831.6327
Fax: 302.831.1048

Our lab focuses on Synthetic Biology, Protein Engineering, Gene and Drug Delivery, and Cancer Therapy

Proteins are the most versatile among the various biological building blocks. However, the strength of proteins - their versatility and specific interactions - also complicates and hinders their systematic design and engineering. Our lab has been interested in exploiting the modular nature of protein domains to design synthetic complexes that can perform new biological functions across different length scales. By adding logical and stimuli responsive components into the design, smart protein complexes can be created to sense and adapt to the constantly changing cellular environments. Research in our laboratory is focused on the development of new synthetic biology tools in connecting exchangeable protein domains into functional devices for dynamic modulation of cellular phenotypes, biocatalysis, biosensing, and new cancer therapeutics.

Selected Honors

Michael M. Abbott Lectureship, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2019

Food, Pharmaceutical & Bioengineering Division Award, AICHE, 2018

Marvin J. Johnson Award in Microbial & Biochemical Technology, ACS, 2017

Daniel I.C. Wang Award for Excellence in Biochemical Engineering, AICHE/SBE, 2015

Biotechnology Progress Award for Excellence in Biological Engineering Publication, AICHE/SBE, 2012



May 2021
A new paper describing a light-responsive SpyCatcher system was published in JACS

November 2020
We welcome a new graduate student, Madan Gopal, to the group

April 2019
Dr. Chen delivered the Michael M. Abbott Lecture at RPI

July 2018
Dr. Chen selected as the 2019 winner of the AICHE Food, Pharmaceutical & Bioengineering Division Award link

March 2018
A new paper on controlling protein assembly by toehold-mediated strand displacement was published in Nature Chemistry

November 2017
We welcome a new graduate student, Hopen Yang, to the group

September 2016
Dr. Chen selected as the 2017 winner of the ACS Marvin J. Johnson Award in Microbial and Biochemical Technology more

September 2015
Dr. Chen selected as the 2015 winner of the Daniel I.C. Wang Award for Excellence in Biochemical Engineering

Open Positions
New opportunities in the lab - I am looking for up to three Ph.D. students

Last Updated: July 2, 2021


Department of Chemical  and Biomolecular Engineering, Colburn Lab 224, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716

Maintained by Wilfred Chen