Keith Pardee Appointed Assistant Professor

Keith Pardee has been appointed Assistant Professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, effective January 1, 2016. In this role, Dr. Pardee will teach and conduct research in the Faculty’s biomolecular sciences area.

Dr. Pardee holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Alberta, a Master of Science degree in Natural Products Chemistry from the University of British Columbia, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto. Following the completion of his doctoral studies, Dr. Pardee completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship under the supervision of Professor James J. Collins, and was employed as a Research Scientist at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. 

Dr. Pardee’s work at Harvard combined in vitro synthetic biology and biochemical systems with materials science to build paper-based synthetic gene networks. As a postdoctoral fellow, he created a method to embed freeze-dried synthetic gene networks and their complementary cellular machinery into paper. These systems remain stable without refrigeration for more than a year, and are activated by adding water. These devices provide a new venue for synthetic biologists to operate in, and a much-needed path for the safe deployment of engineered gene circuits beyond the lab.

At the Faculty, Dr. Pardee will continue to focus on moving synthetic biology outside of the cell. His research program combines biochemistry, molecular engineering, and electronics to create a new class of sterile and abiotic tools for applications both in and outside the lab. By generating in vitro synthetic biology programs and creating in vitro environments to host these biomolecular programs, he aims to produce small, programmable sensors and devices for research, portable diagnostics, implantable therapeutics, and tools for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Dr. Pardee’s research has been published in Cell, Nature, PLoS Biology, and Genes and Development, among others.

In addition to his impressive research pedigree, Dr. Pardee has experience as an instructor, as he was a course sponsor for Commercializing Science at the Harvard Business School, and a guest lecturer in Biomedical Instrumentation and Imaging at Boston University, and Advanced Cellular Engineering at Harvard University. He was also a teaching assistant as a graduate student and a mentor and supervisor to students and research assistants as a postdoctoral fellow.

Dr. Pardee’s office and laboratory are located on the 11th floor.