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Doctoral Student, University of Oxford

Miroslav Gasparek

Doctoral Student of Engineering Science at University of Oxford
Stanford Existential Risks Initiative (SERI) Summer Fellow

I am a second-year doctoral student of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Professor Antonis Papachristodoulou and Professor Harrison Steel. My research interests lie at the intersection of systems and synthetic biology, control engineeringmachine learning, as well as biosafety

Currently, I am a SERI Summer Fellow and I am working on technical and regulatory aspects of the biological safety of engineered microbial communities. I believe that is an important topic that is currently underexplored, yet it represents a significant potential biosecurity challenge.

I am convinced that the application of engineering methods to biological systems is the best way to address the major healthcare, economic, and environmental challenges of our times. And I think that engineering biology is also the best way to learn about living systems and to understand ourselves better. As Richard Feynman said: "What I cannot create, I do not understand."

The engineering challenges that I am passionate about are:

  • Design and analysis of complex gene circuits
  • Computational modeling and design of interactions in synthetic microbial communities
  • Control of biological systems using classical control and data-driven methods
  • Biosafety of engineered microbial consortia

Throughout the course of my undergraduate studies, I took part in several engineering projects, including:

  • Computational modeling of optimal eczema treatment (with Dr. Reiko Tanaka at Imperial College London)
  • Development of a framework for modeling interconnected subsystems in cell-free systems (with Professor Richard Murray at California Institute of Technology)
  • Engineering of plasmids for protein-protein interaction assays in a minimal cell (with Professor Drew Endy at Stanford University). You can view these and other projects in the Projects section of my website.

Furthermore, I like to keep myself intellectually busy by engaging in other areas. Some of my other activities include:

I like drinking good coffee, having meaningful conversations about things that matter, lifting weights, cooking, and playing the accordion.


M.Eng, Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London, 2019