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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Department of Biological Sciences
Charles Boylen
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Department of Biological Sciences
1W14 Jonsson-Rowland Science Center
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590

Phone: (518) 276-6446
Fax: (518) 276-2344

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Biology Home Undergraduate Graduate Faculty Research News and Events Contacts
Cynthia H. Collins

Assistant Professor of Biology

Education and Training

B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (University of Toronto, 2000)
Ph.D. Chemistry and Biochemistry (California Institute of Technology, 2006)
Postdoctoral: 2006-2008, University of Calgary


Phone: 518-276-4178

Office: BIOTK1 2125

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, NY12180

Cynthia Collins joined Rensselaer 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 Surette’s 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.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Department of Biological Sciences