Our research goals are directed towards programmable cells that process multiple input signals to produce desirable outputs for real world applications. Specifically, we aim to build synthetic gene circuits in order to control and improve metabolic pathways for the production of biomass-based chemicals and drugs. Learn more

Tae Seok Moon


Postdoctoral research at MIT and University of California-San Francisco provided Dr. Moon with expertise in the design and construction of genetic circuits. As a graduate student at MIT, he learned how to construct and optimize novel metabolic pathways to produce biochemicals that can replace oil-based chemicals. Combining his research experiences with more than five years experience in the biotechnology industry, he envisions his career as transforming biology research from an "observation" approach to a "synthesis-based engineering" activity to address energy, environment and health issues. Learn more about Dr. Moon

October 2014
Moon Research Group receives a grant from the Department of Energy for "Systems Biology of Rhodococcus opacus to Enable Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Lignocellulose."

September 2014
Tatenda wins a poster presentation award at the SynBERC meeting. Congrats, Tatenda!

Ray and Tatenda presented posters at the SynBERC meeting at MIT.

Professor Moon gave an invited talk at the SynBERC meeting at MIT.

Drew Delorenzo, Charlie Johnson, Yu He, and Ben Wolf join the lab as graduate rotation students! Welcome everyone!

August 2014
Allison talked about our project in the 2014 Spring SynBERC meeting! Check out this video recently released by SynBERC!

July 2014
Soo Ji Kim joins the lab as a research technician! Welcome Soo Ji!

Allison Hoynes-O'Connor wins a poster presentation award at the 2014 SIMB conference! Congrats, Allison!

Cheryl, Allison, and Ray presented posters at the 2014 SIMB conference.

Professor Moon gave an invited talk at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology (SIMB), click here for more info.

Professor Moon gave a talk at the inaugural SEED conference (the Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design), click here for more info.

June 2014
15 teachers from 11 local high schools participated in the Genetic Circuits Workshop for training with our teaching kit to use in high school classrooms! More info about the workshop here.

May 2014
Young Je (Ryan) Lee joins the group as a PhD candidate.  Welcome Ryan!

A new paper published online: B Thompson, TS Moon and D Nielsen. ‘Hybrid’ Processing Strategies for Expanding and Improving the Synthesis of Renewable Bioproducts, Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 30, 17-23 (2014).

April 2014
Professor Moon receives a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.

March 2014
Cheryl Immethun wins the 2014 EECE Graduate Student Teaching Award! Congratulations Cheryl!

January 2014
Professor Moon gave an invited talk at 12th ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting. (

Allison, Cheryl, and Ray in the Moon lab received project funding from Women's Society of Washington University for the outreach activities which include teaching kit development for Teach For America Teachers! Please contact Allie at for more information!

November 2013
DR Nielsen, TS Moon. From Promise to Practice: the Role of Synthetic Biology in Green Chemistry, EMBO Reports, published online, doi:10.1038/embor.2013.178 (2013)

October 2013
Chris Bowen and Hui-Yuan Chen join the group as Graduate Rotation students! Welcome Chris and Hui-Yuan!

September 2013
Wen Jiang, Ryan Lee, and Manan Pathak join the group as Graduate Rotation students! Welcome Wen, Ryan, and Manan!

August 2013
Arshag Mooradian joins the group as a Graduate Rotation student! Welcome Arshag!

Kenneth Ng joins the lab as a research technician! Welcome Kenneth!

Moon Research Group receives a grant from the National Science Foundation for "Designing Nitrogen Fixing Ability in Oxygenic Photosynthetic Cells."

Paper highlighted as Featured Article in Frontiers in Microbiology!
BM Berla, R Saha, CM Immethun, CD Maranas, TS Moon and H Pakrasi. Synthetic Biology of Cyanobacteria: Unique Challenges and Opportunities, Front. Microbiol. 4:246 (2013).

May 2013
Moon Research Group receives a Grand Challenges Exploration Grant from the Gates Foundation for "Programmed Killing of Parasite Eggs by Probiotic Organisms."

Moon Research Group receives an I-CARES Research Award for "Hybrid Conversion of Lignin: Trees to Fat" with collaborator Professor Marcus Foston, also from EECE at Washington University in St. Louis.

Ray Henson, Allison Hoynes-O'Connor, and Tatenda Shopera join the group as PhD candidates.  Welcome Ray, Allison and Tatenda!

March 2013
Cheryl Immethun receives a 2013 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship.

Professor Moon is highlighted in ACS Synthetic Biology's "Introducing Our Authors".

CM Immethun, AG Hoynes-O’Connor, A Balassy and TS Moon. Microbial Production of Isoprenoids Enabled by Synthetic Biology, Invited review, accepted in Frontiers in Microbiology.

January 2013
Professor Moon joins the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.

Ray Henson and Tatenda Shopera join the group as Graduate Rotation students. Welcome Ray and Tatenda!