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William J. Holtz

Post-doctoral Researcher



Ph.D. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 2011 UC Berkeley: Engineering Scalable Combinational Logic in Escherichia coli Using Zinc Finger Proteins


Email ......
Phone .....  
Office ...... 4110J
Bench ..... 4550-32

JBEI, 5885 Hollis St.
Emeryville, CA


Current Research

My research is focused on engineering control of transcription using zinc finger proteins. With zinc fingers proteins I am designing methods of regulating native operons and creating scalable sets of logic gates. Microbes can sense many environmental conditions and there are a wide variety of outputs they can produce. Currently synthetic biologists connect these inputs to an output with a one-to-one correspondence or a two-to-one configuration in advanced systems. This limitation is mostly due to our lack of large numbers of devices that can operate independently in a single cell. By utilizing zinc-finger proteins and other scalable interaction domains, I aim to make a large library of independent transcription control devices that can be utilized to integrate many input signals into a single output.


  • D.C. Huang, W.J. Holtz, M.M. Maharbiz. (2012). "A genetic bistable switch utilizing nonlinear protein degradation." Journal of biological engineering, 6(1), 9.

  • J. Hsia, W.J. Holtz, D.C. Huang, M. Arcak, M.M. Maharbiz. (2012). "A feedback quenched oscillator produces turing patterning with one diffuser." PLoS computational biology, 8(1), e1002331.

  • T.S. Lee, R.A. Krupa, F. Zhang, M. Hajimorad, W.J. Holtz, N Prasad, S.K. Lee, J.D. Keasling. (2011). "BglBrick vectors and datasheets: a synthetic biology platform for gene expression." Journal of biological engineering, 5(1), 1-14.

  • W.J. Holtz and J.D. Keasling, “Engineering Static and Dynamic Control of Synthetic Pathways,” Cell, vol. 140, pp. 19-23, 2010.
  • F.J. Zendejas, U. Srinivasan, W.J. Holtz, J.D. Keasling, R.T. Howe, "Microfluidic Generation of Tunable Emulsions for Templated Monodisperse Silica," Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems, 2005. Digest of Technical Papers. Transducers '05. The 13th International Conference on , vol.2, no.pp. 1473- 1476, 2005.
  • M.M. Maharbiz, W.J. Holtz, R.T. Howe, J.D. Keasling, "Microbioreactor Arrays With Parametric Control for High-Throughput Experimentation," Biotechnology and Bioengineering, vol. 85(4), pg. 376-381, 2004.
  • M.M. Maharbiz, W.J. Holtz, S. Sharifzadeh, J.D. Keasling, R.T. Howe, "A Microfabricated Electrochemical Oxygen Generator for High-Density Cell Culture Arrays," Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of , vol.12, no.5, pp. 590- 599, Oct. 2003.
  • M.M. Maharbiz, W.J. Holtz, S. Sharifzadeh, J.D. Keasling and R.T. Howe, "A Microfabricated Electrochemical Oxygen Generator for High-Density Cell Culture Arrays," in Solid-State Sensor, Actuator, and Microsystems Workshop, 2002, pp. 259-264.
  • J. Yang, W. Holtz, W. Yang and M. Tue Vo, "An Adaptive Multimodal Interface for Wireless Applications," in Second International Symposium on Wearable Computers, 1998, pp. 172-173.


Intel's Robert N. Noyce Graduate Research Fellowship

Merck Best Poster Award, Biochemical Engineering XIII, 2003

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