Chiara Ricci-Tam, PhD

Photo of Chiara Ricci-Tam.



(617) 324-4564
BE Communication Lab Manager & Lecturer



A lifelong fan of how living things are incredibly puzzling, Chiara completed her B.S. in Molecular Biology at the University of California San Diego, working as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Joe Pogliano’s lab and minoring in psychology and philosophy to explore her broader interests in the nature, pursuit, and communication of knowledge. Excited by the vast unknowns of scientific research, she switched coasts to complete her Ph.D. at Harvard University in the lab of Dr. Michael Springer in the Systems Biology Department at Harvard Medical School, gaining a lasting penchant for systems-level perspectives and design-driven approaches in biological research. While exploring these interests further as a postdoc with Dr. Allyson Sgro at Boston University, Chiara also worked as a Communication Lab Fellow in the BU Biological Design Center, ultimately finding her second self-appointed calling in studying how the pursuit of science is interdependent on how it is communicated.

Joining the Biological Engineering Department to delve further into this interdisciplinary space, Chiara serves as the manager for the Biological Engineering Communication Lab, working with a team of Fellows and Advisors to provide coaching and support to the BE community that is focused on innovation and best practices in science communication. Additionally, she acts as a Communication Lecturer in the Biological Engineering Department, providing support in teaching the communication components of 20.109 (Lab Fundamentals in Biological Engineering) and 20.380 (Biological Engineering Design).

Selected Publications

C. Ricci-Tam, S. Kuipa*, M. P. Kostman*, M. S. Aronson, A. E. Sgro, Microbial models of development: Inspiration for engineering self-assembled synthetic multicellularity. Semin. Cell Dev. Biol. (2022), doi:10.1016/j.semcdb.2022.04.014.

C. Ricci-Tam*, I. Ben-Zion*, J. Wang*, J. Palme, A. Li, Y. Savir, M. Springer, Decoupling transcription factor expression and activity enables dimmer switch gene regulation. Science. 372, 292–295 (2021).

M. S. Aronson, C. Ricci-Tam*, X. Zhu*, A. E. Sgro, Exploiting noise to engineer adaptability in synthetic multicellular systems. Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering. 16, 52–60 (2020).

R. R. Beach, C. Ricci-Tam, C. M. Brennan, C. A. Moomau, P.-H. Hsu, B. Hua, R. E. Silberman, M. Springer, A. Amon, Aneuploidy Causes Non-genetic Individuality. Cell. 169, 229–242.e21 (2017).

*equal contribution
(ORCID: 0000-0002-6549-1838)