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Eric R. Henderson, Professor, GDCB

Eric R Henderson

  • Professor

Contact Info

3114 Molecular Biology


  • B.A., Biology, UCLA
  • Ph.D., Molecular Biology, UCLA
  • Post-doc., Telomere Biology, UC Berkeley

More Information


I teach introductory biology and practice research entrepreneurship with a focus on translating laboratory discoveries into solutions to real world problems. I am always looking for challenges and opportunities to work with young entrepreneurs. I’m also a performing musician, author of genre fiction, tinkerer, and gadget freak.


Our laboratory takes an enormously multidisciplinary approach to the study of the interface between biology and nanotechnology (or, more generally, life and technology). This area of inquiry can be 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 a vast library of deeply tested pathways to addressing the dreams of nanotechnology. Our challenge is to understand and, in a practical fashion, transfer these insights to the emerging field of bionanotechnology.

Our research team has developed a complex, multidimensional mechanical system made out of DNA for testing molecular bonds and detecting molecular species. We have also developed enhancements to the process of DNA origami that expand the opportunity space for DNA-based nanosystems substantially. WE collaborate with colleagues in Computer Science to develop computational methods to improve various aspects of DNA nanoengineering.

The lab is currently funded by a grant from the NSF designed to bridge the chasm between theory (Computer Science) and practice (Molecular Biology).

Recent Publications

  • McCloskey M. A., Mosher, C. L., Henderson, E. R. (2017) Wind Energy Conversion by Plant-Inspired Designs. PLoS ONE 12(1): e0170022. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0170022.
  • Mathur, D., and Henderson, E. R. (2016) Programmable DNA Nanosystem for Molecular Interrogation. Nature Scientific Reports, 6, No. 27413, doi:10.1038/srep27413,
  • Mathur, D. and Henderson, E. 2013. Complex DNA Nanostructures from Oligonucleotide Ensembles, ACS Synthetic Biology, 2(4), 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”)