Previously, James was a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist with Jay D. Keasling at UC Berkeley and the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute. There, he developed design-driven approaches to engineer RNA-based genetic control devices for programming quantitatively-predictable functions in synthetic biological systems. James was a graduate student at Harvard, where he earned a Ph.D. with Jack W. Szostak. As a graduate student, he used information theory, in vitro selection, RNA biochemisty and 3D solution NMR to show that there may be a fundamental, quantitative relationship between the informational complexities of molecular structures and the functional activities they can perform. James has a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale. He has received the University of Washington Presidential Innovation Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.
- Ph.D., Harvard University, Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, 2005
- B.S., Yale University, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, 1998
- University of California, Berkeley, Jane Coffin Childs Research Fellow, 2006-2009
The Carothers Research Group integrates quantitative RNA device design, dynamic control system modeling, and CRISPR-Cas network engineering for applications in synthetic biology. Our aims are to understand fundamental biological design principles and to engineer systems to meet demands for new sources of industrially- and medically-important chemicals and materials.
Honors & awards
- UW College of Engineering Junior Faculty Award, 2016
- Emerging Scholar, 2016, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
- UW Presidential Innovation Award, 2014
- Sloan Research Fellow, Computational Molecular Biology, 2013, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
James Carothers recognized as inspiring Black scientist
Cell Mentor’s list of 1,000 inspiring Black scientists includes seven from UW
How to build a network of biofactories
Advances in synthetic biology and biomaterials open up exciting prospects for distributed manufacturing of drugs, food products, and other commodities
Developing a SARS-Cov-2 antibody test
ChemE professor James Carothers and adjunct professor Jesse Zalatan receive NSF award to develop a new type of SARS-CoV-2 antibody test