Calin Plesa joined the Knight Campus in June 2019 as an Assistant Professor. Plesa’s research interests lie at the intersection of biochemistry, protein engineering, microbiology, synthetic biology, genetics and technology.
Before joining the Knight Campus, Plesa was a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA and earned his doctorate in bio-nanoscience in 2015 from Delft University of Technology. He received master’s degrees in nanoscience and nanotechnology from Delft in 2009 and Chalmers University of Technology in 2010. He received a bachelor’s of applied science, engineering physics in 2007 from Simon Fraser University.
Currently, Plesa’s work primarily focuses on large-scale gene synthesis, which plays an important role in functional characterization of DNA sequences and for the development of synthetic biology. Current efforts in this area are slowed by their high cost.
Plesa developed a method called DropSynth, which allows the generation of large libraries of thousands of genes and functional testing of all possible mutations at relatively low cost. This opens many new avenues of research and potential applications previously deemed too expensive.