Dr. Eric Henderson

People
Professor
Photograph of Eric Henderson

Eric Henderson’s path in science is:

  • B.A. in Biology UCLA
  • Ph.D. in Molecular Biology UCLA
  • Post-Doc studying telomere biology, UC Berkeley
  • Professor, ISU

Eric teaches, promotes and practices rule breaking (when appropriate), fearlessness, and entrepreneurship in all facets of life. He has been involved in several companies including:

  • Bio Force Nanosciences, Inc., (biotech)
  • Aspera Corp (biotech)
  • Creodyne, llc (tech development)
  • Bumblefunk Music (media)
  • Hello Holdings (Griffle, GriffleGames, Griffle TV; media)
  • eMoJoCo, llc (art and media)

Eric is always looking for challenges and opportunities to work with young entrepreneurs. On the side Eric is a performing musician, fiction writer, tinkerer, and gadget freak.

Research

We are interested in the interface between biology and nanotechnology. This has recently been labeled either bionanotechnology or synthetic biology. The label is of no importance. What is important is that 3.6 billion years of biological evolution has resulted in fantastic developments that are the stuff of which the dreams of nanotechnology is made. The challenge is to understand and, in a practical fashion, transfer these insights to the emerging field of nanotechnology so that the wheel (and eyeball, nose, etc. ) need not be invented twice. This is no small challenge. We have created a few tools that will facilitate this effort and a portion of my time is spent determining how best to provide these tools to researchers. A conclusion I have drawn is that a commercial enterprise accomplishes this and also provides an avenue (in theory) by which future developments may be funded and manifest. This theory is far from proven, however.

More on the Henderson Lab Research

Using the magic of DNA hybridization we design and build self-assembling DNA Nanodevices like the Pathogen Sentinel.

DNA Nanostructures and Devices: We make functional nanodevices out of DNA. Our most current device is a pathogen sentinel that can detect, measure and report the presence of a variety of pathogen-related biomarkers. Billions of these sentinels can be created for pennies in a few microliters of saltwater. Even better, since they are made out of DNA they are extremely robust.

We also developed a new method for creating 2D and 3D DNA nanostructures. This method uses DNA origami as a design tool but does not require a single-stranded scaffold of biological origin. In this way, our method allows the creation of any number of DNA nanostructures with much fewer restrictions on size and, importantly, simultaneous assembly in a single reaction ("single pot" self-assembly). Creating useful machines and expanding the general method of DNA-based nanodevice construction are currently the main objectives.

Recent publications

  • R. Lutz, J. Lutz, J. Lathrop, T. Klinge, E. Henderson, D. Mathur, and D. Abo Sheasha, (2012) Engineering and verifying requirements for programmable self-assembling nanomachines, Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2012, Zurich, Switzerland, June 2-9, 2012), pp. 1361-1364.
  • Lutz, Robyn R., Lutz, Jack H., Lathrop, James I., Klinge, Titus H., Mathur, Divita, Stull, Don M., Bergquist, Taylor G. and Henderson, Eric R. (2012) Requirements analysis for a product family of DNA nanodevices, Proceedings of the Twentieth IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE 2012, Chicago, IL, September 24-28, 2012), pp. 211-220.
  • Mathur, D. and Henderson, E. (2013) Complex DNA Nanostructures from Oligonucleotide Ensembles, ACS Synthetic Biology, 2, 180-185.
  • Ellis, Samuel J., Henderson, Eric R., Klinge, Titus H., Lathrop, James I., Lutz, Jack H., Lutz, Robyn R., Mathur, Divita, and Miner, Andrew S. (2014) Automated Requirements Analysis for a Molecular Watchdog Timer In Proceedings of the 29th ACM/IEEE international conference on Automated software engineering (ASE '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 767-778. DOI=10.1145/2642937.2643007 (Awarded the "Manfred Paul Award for Excellence in Software: Theory and Practice").

 

Area of Expertise: 
Nanotechnology
Contact
515-294-0253
3114 Molecular Biology
Ames
Iowa
50011-3260