Ronit N. Langer

Ronit N. Langer
MIT EECS | CS+HASS Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Ron Weiss
Department: Biological Engineering
Areas of Research: CS+HASS
Years: 2018-2019
Research Project Title:

The War on Drugs

abstract:The opioid epidemic has been receiving a lot of attention recently, as the numbers of people dying from overdose rise each year. It is against this backdrop that this project emerged, a small front in “The War on Drugs”. The overarching aim of this project is to be able to sense and differentiate between multiple types of opioids using a mammalian protein toggle switch. This aim can be divided into two subsections: 1. Building a chemical sensor capable of sensing and differentiating between different opioids. 2. Build a toggle switch in a mammalian cell that is fast acting and long lasting. Overall, this project combines machine learning and modeling, with synthetic biological circuit design, to address a critical problem facing our society today.

I have been working in the Weiss lab since my freshman year as part of the MIT iGEM team. My experience in the Weiss lab inspired in me a love of research, and a passion for synthetic biology. I look forward to the SuperUROP program to give me an opportunity to do original research and prepare myself for graduate school. This project has the potential to save lives, and I feel honored to take part in such important work.