Research Publication
Asst Prof of Chemistry Aaron Leconte
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Aaron Leconte is co-author on an article published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( The article, "Experimental interrogation of the path dependence and stochasticity of protein evolution using phage-assisted continuous evolution" was written in conjunction with Bryan Dickinson, Ben Allen, Kevin Esvelt, and David R. Liu. The work attempts to experimentally address the 'tape-of-life' question famously posed by Stephen Jay Gould who wondered if one re-played the 'tape-of-life from the beginning' whether life would evolve similarly. In the work, the authors observed that random chance, as well as the history of a protein's evolution, can create evolutionary 'dead-ends' that limit the evolution of new function. The work has important implications for the evolution of proteins both in Nature and in the laboratory, where proteins are often evolved into useful medicines and materials.  


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