Clement Chan | BioDiscovery Institute

Clement Chan

Assistant Professor

Clement Chan participated in academic research since he was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After accomplished his B.S. degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry, he joined a Ph.D. program in Biological Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and conducted his thesis research in the laboratory of Peter C. Dedon, M.D., Ph.D. at the Department of Biological Engineering. As a graduate student, Dr. Chan used a quantitative systems approach to study biological roles of tRNA modifications in cellular response to different types of stress. With Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism, he developed a mass spectrometric platform to quantify tRNA modifications, which led to the discovery of specific changes in the quantitative pattern of tRNA modification spectrum in response to different types of stress.

During his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of James J. Collins, Ph.D. at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Chan continued to conduct systems biology research while using transcriptomics and proteomics analyses to understand the bacterial response to antibiotics. Additionally, he also developed his research in synthetic biology, including using protein engineering methods to construct a series of biosensors for the detection of different small molecules and harnessing these biosensors to build a programmable "Passcode" genetic circuit to control cellular behaviors in response to multiple environmental signals. After he became a faculty, he continues to use these systems and synthetic biology approaches to understand and construct biological systems. Clement Chan Lab


    • Protein Engineering
    • Cellular Engineering
    • Genetic Sensing Systems
    • Design of Genetic Circuit
    • Biological Monitoring Device
    • Biocontainment of Engineered Organisms
    • Quantitative Systems Biology

    For Prospective Graduate Students

    Apply to the Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering

    Current Grant-Funded Projects

    • Chan, T., "Development of Genetic Sensors and Circuits for Creating Novel Cellular Behaviors," Sponsored by National Institute of Health (Award # R35GM142421), Federal, $1525588 Funded. (2021 - 2026).
    • Chan, C. (Principal), "DESIGN AND CONSTRUCT MODULAR TRANSCRIPTIONAL REPRESSORS TO FACILITATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF LIVING DIAGNOSTICS," Sponsored by National Institutes of Health (Award # 1R15GM135813-01), Federal, $391722 Funded. (December 1, 2020 - November 30, 2023).
    • Chan, C. (Principal), "RUI: Developing modular repressors as in vivo biosensors in various organisms," Sponsored by National Science Foundation (Award # 1914538), Federal, $441684 Funded. (July 1, 2019 - August 30, 2020).

    Recent Significant Publications

    1. You, J., Huang, H., Chan, T., Li, L. (2022). Pathological Targets for Treating Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Discoveries From Microscale to Macroscale. Other. 12, . Frontiers Media SA.
    2. Jiang, X., Dimas, R. P., Chan, C. T., Morcos, F. (2021). Coevolutionary methods enable robust design of modular repressors by reestablishing intra-protein interactions. Nature Communications. 12, 5592.
    3. Dimas, R. P., Jordan, B. R., Jiang, X., Martini, C., Glavy, J. S., Patterson, D. P., Morcos, F., Chan, T. (2019). Engineering DNA recognition and allosteric response properties of TetR family proteins by using a module-swapping strategy. Other. 47(16), 8913-8925. Oxford University Press (OUP).
    4. Dimas, R. P., Jiang, X., Alberto de la Paz, J., Morcos, F., Chan, T. (2019). Engineering repressors with coevolutionary cues facilitates toggle switches with a master reset. Other. 47(10), 5449-5463. Oxford University Press (OUP).
    5. Lee, J. W., Chan, T., Slomovic, S., Collins, J. J. (2018). Next-generation biocontainment systems for engineered organisms. Nature Chemical Biology. 14(6), 530-537.
    6. Chan, T., Lee, J. W., Cameron, D. E., Bashor, C. J., Collins, J. J. (2016). 'Deadman' and 'Passcode' microbial kill switches for bacterial containment. Nature Chemical Biology. 12(2), 82-86. Springer Science and Business Media LLC.
    7. Chan, T., Deng, W., Li, F., Demott, M. S., Babu, I. R., Begley, T. J., Dedon, P. C. (2015). Highly Predictive Reprogramming of tRNA Modifications Is Linked to Selective Expression of Codon-Biased Genes. Chemical Research in Toxicology. 28(5), 978-988.
    8. Dwyer, D. J., Belenky, P. A., Yang, J. H., Cody MacDonald,, Martell, J. D., Takahashi, N., Chan, T., Lobritz, M. A., Braff, D., Schwarz, E. G., Ye, J. D., Pati, M., Vercruysse, M., Ralifo, P. S., Allison, K. R., Khalil, A. S., Ting, A. Y., Walker, G. C., Collins, J. J. (2014). Antibiotics induce redox-related physi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111(20), .
    9. Mandal, D., Köhrer, C., Su, D., Babu, I. R., Chan, T., Liu, Y., Söll, D., Blum, P., Kuwahara, M., Dedon, P. C., Rajbhandary, U. L. (2014). Identification and codon reading properties of 5-cyanomethyl uridine, a new modified nucleoside found in the anticodon wobble position of mutant haloarchaeal isoleucine tRNAs. Other. 20(2), 177-188.
    10. Su, D., Chan, T., Gu, C., Lim, K. S., Chionh, Y. H., McBee, M. E., Russell, B. S., Babu, I. R., Begley, T. J., Dedon, P. C. (2014). Quantitative analysis of ribonucleoside modifications in tRNA by HPLC-coupled mass spectrometry. Other. 9(4), 828-841.
    11. Begley, U., Sosa, M. S., Avivar-Valderas, A., Patil, A., Endres, L., Estrada, Y., Chan, T., Su, D., Dedon, P. C., Aguirre-Ghiso, J. A., Begley, T. (2013). A human tRNA methyltransferase 9-like protein prevents tumour growth by regulating LIN9 and HIF1-α. Other. 5(3), 366-383.
    12. Patil, A., Dyavaiah, M., Joseph, F., Rooney, J. P., Chan, T., Dedon, P. C., Begley, T. J. (2012). Increased tRNA modification and gene-specific codon usage regulate cell cycle progression during the DNA damage response. Other. 11(19), 3656-3665.
    13. Chan, T., Pang, Y. L., Deng, W., Babu, I. R., Dyavaiah, M., Begley, T. J., Dedon, P. C. (2012). Reprogramming of tRNA modifications controls the oxidative stress response by codon-biased translation of proteins. Nature Communications. 3, .
    14. Patil, A., Chan, T., Dyavaiah, M., Rooney, J. P., Dedon, P. C., Begley, T. J. (2012). Translational infidelity-induced protein stress results from a deficiency in Trm9-catalyzed tRNA modifications. Other. 9(7), 990-1001.
    15. Chan, T., Chionh, Y. H., Ho, C., Lim, K. S., Babu, I. R., Ang, E., Wenwei, L., Alonso, S., Dedon, P. C. (2011). Identification of N6,N6-dimethyladenosine in transfer RNA from Mycobacterium bovis bacille calmette-guérin. Molecules. 16(6), 5168-5181.
    16. Chan, T., Dyavaiah, M., DeMott, M. S., Taghizadeh, K., Dedon, P. C., Begley, T. J. (2010). A quantitative systems approach reveals dynamic control of tRNA modifications during cellular stress. Other. 6(12), 1-9.
    17. Fu, D., Brophy, J. A., Chan, T., Atmore, K. A., Begley, U., Paules, R. S., Dedon, P. C., Begley, T. J., Samson, L. D. (2010). Human AlkB homolog ABH8 is a tRNA methyltransferase required for wobble uridine modification and DNA damage survival. Molecular and Cellular Biology. 30(10), 2449-2459.
    18. Seyedsayamdost, M. R., Chan, T., Mugnaini, V., Stubbe, J., Bennati, M. (2007). PELDOR spectroscopy with DOPA-β2 and NH2Y-α2s: Distance measurements between residues involved in the radical propagation pathway of E. coli ribonucleotide reductase. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 129(51), 15748-15749.
    19. Seyedsayamdost, M. R., Xie, J., Chan, T., Schultz, P. G., Stubbe, J. (2007). Site-specific insertion of 3-aminotyrosine into subunit α2 of E. coli ribonucleotide reductase: Direct evidence for involvement of Y730 and Y731 in radical propagation. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 129(48), 15060-15071.