Tony Kulesa, PhD


Instructor & BioMakerspace Director



I am leading a new departmental initiative to create a BioMakerspace, a laboratory space and community to support student-driven projects in the life sciences. I manage our laboratory space, guide student teams, and create workshops, classes, and other programming to support our burgeoning student community. Some examples of our programming include workshops where students learn the basics of synthetic biology by creating color photographs with "ink" made from engineered photo-sensitive bacteria, and an IAP course (the BioMaker Design Workshop) where students design solutions to problems sourced from the local biotech industry. I also serve as an instructor in 20.380 (Biological Engineering Design) and 20.381 (Biological Engineering Design II), where students develop a novel project idea with the option to implement it in our lab. 


I joined the BE Department in 2012 as a PhD student with Professor Paul Blainey, where I developed new platforms to accelerate drug discovery and microbiology research. While a student, I was also part of the original class of Communication Lab fellows, and helped launch a number of campus initiatives in biotech and entrepreneurship such as MIT Biotech Group and the BiomedStartup IAP Course.

Research Interests

  • Laboratory automation and instrumentation
  • Infectious disease
  • Synthetic biology