Home Research Publications


Roberto Laos


  • BS in Chemistry. Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Peru (2000)
  • License Diploma in Chemistry. Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Peru (2001)
  • MS in Polymer Science and Engineering. University of Massachusetts Amherst (2003)
  • PhD in Chemistry. University of Florida (2015)

Research summary

My research is focused on the in vitro evolution of DNA polymerases. My goal is to produce DNA polymerases able to efficiently incorporate non-standard nucleic acids (AEGIS), which are designed and synthesized by my colleagues at the FFAME.

The compartmentalized self-replication (CSR) method allows us to isolate different phenotypes of polymerases in microdroplets that contain, on average, one gene per microdroplet. This system resembles natural selection, as the genes and the molecules they encode are separated from each other in compartments (cells). Our in vitro selection experiments allow us to select among 2x108 different genes in a volume of less than 1 mL.


  • Coca Cola Eco-efficiency Award (First Place, 2003)

Recent Publications


Fluorinated oil-surfactant mixtures with the density of water: Artificial cells for synthetic biology
Roberto Laos, Steven Benner
PLOS One 17 (1) , Public Library of Science (2022) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0252361


The surprising pairing of 2-aminoimidazo[1,2-a]- [1,3,5]triazin-4-one, a component of an expanded DNA alphabet
Roberto Laos, Christos Lampropoulos, and Steven A. Benner
Structural Chemistry , Acta Crystallographica (2019) C75, 22-28, https://doi.org/10.1107/S2053229618016923


Snapshots of an evolved DNA polymerase pre- and post-incorporation of an unnatural nucleotide
Isha Singh, Roberto Laos, Shuichi Hoshika, Steven A. Benner, and Millie M. Georgiadis
Nucl. Acids Res. 46 (15) 7977-7988 (2018) doi: 10.1093/nar/gky552


Alternative Watson-Crick Synthetic Genetic Systems
Steven A. Benner, Nilesh B. Karalkar, Shuichi Hoshika, Roberto Laos, Ryan W. Shaw, Mariko Matsuura, Diego Fajardo, and Patricia Moussatche
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol , Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (2016) doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a023770


DNA polymerases engineered by directed evolution to incorporate non-standard nucleotides. Frontiers in Microbiology
Laos, R., Thomson, J. M., & Benner, S. A.
Frontiers in Microbiology (2014) 5, 565. http://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2014.00565


Directed Evolution of Polymerases To Accept Nucleotides with Nonstandard Hydrogen Bond Patterns
Laos R, Shaw R, Leal NA, Gaucher E, Benner S.
Biochemistry (2013) 52, 5288-5294


Engineered DNA Polymerases
K. Murakami and M.A. Trakselis (eds.)
Nucleic Acid Polymerases, Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology , Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (2013)


Solution H-1 NMR confirmation of folding in short o-phenylene ethynylene oligomers
Jones, TV; Slutsky, MM; Laos, R; de Greef, TFA; Tew, GN
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127 (49) 17235-17240 (2005)

(View publication page for Roberto Laos)

We thank NASA and STScI for the image of the Milky Way.
Copyright 1997-2024 © FfAME.org - The Foundation For Applied Molecular Evolution