Cynthia H. Collins

Cynthia H Collins
Associate Professor
Contact Information
Office: CBIS 2125
Phone: 518-276-4178
Ph.D. Chemistry and Biochemistry, California Institute of Technology, 2006
B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Toronto, 2000
Cynthia Collins joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at RPI in March 2008 as an assistant professor. Cynthia grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  She obtained her Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 2000, and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Caltech in 2006. She subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Michael Suretteís lab at the University of Calgary, where she was the recipient of a prestigious Alberta Ingenuity Post-Doctoral Fellowship.
Research Interests
Synthetic Biology, Biochemical Engineering, Microbial Communities, Human Microbiome, Protein Engineering Directed Evolution, Biofilms
Current Research
Communities of microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature and play important roles in processes that directly impact human life, from environmental remediation, wastewater treatment and assistance in food digestion to biofouling, biofilm-related corrosion and hospital-acquired infections. The Collins Lab focuses on fundamental and applied aspects of microbial consortia and combines multiscale modeling of biological networks (from gene to protein to organism to community), metabolic and biochemical engineering, synthetic biology and engineered cell-cell communication with the complexities of coexisting communities of bacteria. Applications range from engineering biosensors, to bioprocessing, bioremediation and bio-energy production, and may also include the development of therapeutics that specifically target the balance between good and bad bacteria in the human body.