Pamela Silver

Professor of Systems Biology

Harvard Medical School, Department of Systems Biology
Warren Alpert Building, Room 420
200 Longwood Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-432-6401

Lab Size: Over 20


We seek to both enhance our understanding of natural biological design, and to develop tools and concepts for designing cells, tissues and organisms.  In the long term, we hope to develop principles for building synthetic cells that act as sensors, memory devices, bio-computers, producers of high value commodities and energy from the sun, and to build novel subsystems such as proteins with designed properties for therapeutic use.  Current projects use mammalian cells, simple eukaryotes and prokaryotes.  Understanding how to program cells in a rational way will have value, for example, in stem cell design, drug therapy and the environment.  These experiments use a combination of theoretical and experimental approaches that are well suited to students with backgrounds in biology, engineering, or any allied field.


Torella JP, Gagliardi CJ, Chen JS, Bediako DK, Colón B, Way JC, Silver PA & Nocera DG. (2015). Efficient solar-to-fuels production from a hybrid microbial-water-splitting catalyst system. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. In Press PMID:  25675518

Green AA, Silver PA, Collins JJ, Yin P. (2014). Toehold switches: de-novo-designed regulators of gene expression. Cell. 159(4), 925-39 PMCID:  PMC4265554

Burrill DR, Inniss MC, Boyle PC & Silver PA. (2012). Synthetic memory circuits for tracking human cell fate. Genes & Development. 26(13), 1486-97 PMID:  22751502 PMCID:  PMC3403016

Savage, D.F., Afonso, B., Chen, A. & Silver, P.A.. (2010). Spatially ordered dynamics of the bacterial carbon fixation machinery. Science. 327(5970), 1258-1261 PMID:  20203050