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Reza Kalhor, PhD

Research Interests: Genomics, synthetic biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, cancer biology
Lab Website: Kalhor Lab
Research Interests

Research Interests

Dr. Kalhor’s research seeks to advance our understanding of continuously dynamic biological processes, such as development and cancer formation, by recording cells’ experiences in their genomes. To accomplish this objective, his group develops: (A) molecular technologies that write cellular experiences to their genomic DNA, (B) sequencing strategies that read out written information with high cellular and spatial resolution, and (C) computational methods that reconstruct the underlying biological processes based on recorded information. Their work draws on genomics, molecular engineering, CRISPR-based genome editing, and computational approaches to address brain development, developmental anomalies, and cancer.

Dr. Kalhor received his PhD in Molecular and Computational Biology from USC, where he studied the relationship between genome function and its 3D structure. His postdoctoral training in Genetics and Synthetic Biology at the Harvard Medical School and Wyss Institute focused on storage of digital and biological information in DNA. He joined the BME faculty in 2019, and is a 2020 David and Lucile Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering.

Titles & Affiliations


  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology & Genetics
  • Joint appointment in Medicine, Division of Molecular Medicine

Affiliated Centers & Institutes



  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard Medical School, 2012-2019
  • PhD, Molecular and Computational Biology, University of Southern California, 2012
  • BS, Biotechnology, University of Tehran, 2006
Faculty News

Recent Highlights

  • October 15, 2020
    Reza Kalhor, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, edits the genetic code to enable cells to record their own growth—a key to unlocking the origins of developmental abnormalities.
  • December 10, 2019
    In this interview, Kalhor discusses his research on mapping and understanding embryonic development, a memorable “eureka moment,” and career advice for current students.

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