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The Cross-disciplinary Integration of Design Automation Research (CIDAR) group at Boston University group provides world class, cutting edge automated solutions for the specification, design, assembly, and data management of complex biological and electronic systems. Specifically we look at ways to integrate automation techniques into disciplines not traditionally defined by rigorous design automation methodologies. Automation will introduce concepts such as abstraction, standardization, mathematical formalism, and design tool integration. Specifically it is an interdisciplinary research center bringing expertise into areas such as:

  • Synthetic Biology - the disciplined engineering of novel biological systems from well characterized biological building blocks. For more information on Synthetic Biology see http://www.synberc.org.
  • Cyber Physical Systems - networks of elements which interact with the physical environment via input and output mechanisms. Communication, coordination, and computation must interact closely while being separated during the design process. For more information on Cyber Physical Systems see http://chess.eecs.berkeley.edu/cps/.

CIDAR has computational research carried out in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and experimental research carried out in the Center for Advanced Biotechnology (CAB) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. CIDAR is the academic support mechanism for Clotho, Eugene, and Puppeteer projects. The CIDAR director is Douglas Densmore.

For available positions in CIDAR please go here.

News and Events

"Bostonia Article on Synthetic Biology at Boston University"
"IEEE Design and Test Issue on Synthetic Biology"



  • 5/06/13 - Senior Design Project with CIDAR superstars Janoo Fernandes and Alejandro Pelaez wins Design Excellence Award!












  • 10/10/12 - Fantastic Bostonia article (and video) on Synthetic Biology at Boston University features Prof. Densmore.


Old News

Research Areas

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Using domain specific languages, constraints, and verification-based approaches to specify complex biological systems. Transforming abstract specifications into collections of part-based DNA systems. Physically assembling DNA by optimizing standardized, part-based biological devices.
Creating and organizing data in synthetic biology based data models. Linking the computational work with laboratory experiments and real-world applications. Extending our work to the standards, iGEM, and DIY bio communities.





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