Tom Weber awarded SynBio Future Fellowship

Dr Tom Weber has been awarded a CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Fellowship to build a cellular history recorder “Ticker”: a synthetic biology device that could continuously record cellular events over long periods of time, down to a genomic level.

A postdoctoral researcher with Professor Shalin Naik at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Tom is interested in gaining an in depth understanding of our body's cell populations. He is looking at cell demographics on a quantitative level, to see how cell populations change and behave over time, how and when they migrate and their life cycle, including age and division rate, and differentiation pathways.

Current technologies are extremely limited in precisely measuring these properties; Tom's research focuses on creating novel or improve existing tools to assess these parameters, capitalising on his background in physics, population modelling, data analysis, simulations, and molecular biology.

Tom has contributed much high quality and high impact research to the field, highlights including a dual-pulse nucleoside labelling approach to assess division rates in healthy blood stem cells and compare this to leukaemia proliferation. Tom also also derived the mathematical fundament for a stochastic DNA-based cell generation counter that is currently being applied to understand T cell memory formation, and a Cre Lox in vivo cellular barcoding system for unperturbed lineage tracing.

His next project is to build a cellular history recorder: a synthetic biology device that could continuously record cellular events over long periods of time, down to a genomic level.

To develop and build his research tools, Tom's relies on his background in physics, population modelling, data analysis, simulations, and molecular biology.

Congratulations to Tom and all new Future Science Platform Fellows.

Dr Tom Weber is an affiliate member of the Centre for Stem Cell Systems.The Centre is committed to supporting Tom with his research, and has assisted Dr Weber in testing the ‘Ticker’ concept in mammalian stem cells, as well as his attendance at national and international SynBio meetings.


The CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellowships scheme is funded through the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBio FSP). The scheme aims to attract outstanding national and international early- to mid-career postdoctoral researchers to expand Australian research capacity in synthetic biology. A key element of the SynBio FSP is establishment of a collaborative community of practice extending across CSIRO and Australia, and linking into international efforts in the field.

More Information

Dr Tom Weber

weber.ts@wehi.edu.au