Emma Jean Chory

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Emma Chory is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. She received her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University and her doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. She became interested in epigenetics when she worked with Dr. James Bradner at Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute developing inhibitors of histone-modifying proteins that cause Mixed Lineage Leukemia. As a PhD student at Stanford, she worked with Gerald Crabtree studying chromatin remodeling complexes, and used synthetic biology in mammalian stem cells to discover how nucleosome turnover establishes cell fate and is mis-regualted in cancer. As postdoctoral fellow with Kevin Esvelt and Jim Collins at MIT, she developed novel systems to enable the high-throughput, systematic, and quantitative evolution of therapeutic proteins and cellular populations using automation and directed evolution.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. Stanford University, 2018

Courses Taught

  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 706L: Biotech Design II
  • BME 406L: Biotech Design II
  • BME 394: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Chory, Emma J., Meng Wang, Michele Ceribelli, Aleksandra M. Michalowska, Stefan Golas, Erin Beck, Carleen Klumpp-Thomas, et al. “High-throughput approaches to uncover synergistic drug combinations in leukemia.” SLAS Discovery : Advancing Life Sciences R & D 28, no. 4 (June 2023): 193–201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.slasd.2023.04.004.
  • Garzón-Porras, Ana María, Emma Chory, and Berkley E. Gryder. “Dynamic Opposition of Histone Modifications.” ACS Chemical Biology 18, no. 4 (April 2023): 1027–36. https://doi.org/10.1021/acschembio.1c01000.
  • Golas, Stefan, and Emma J. Chory. “Proximity labeling of endogenous protein interactions enabled by directed evolution.” Trends in Biotechnology 41, no. 3 (March 2023): 301–3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tibtech.2023.01.012.
  • Zhao, Evan M., Angelo S. Mao, Helena de Puig, Kehan Zhang, Nathaniel D. Tippens, Xiao Tan, F Ann Ran, et al. “RNA-responsive elements for eukaryotic translational control.” Nature Biotechnology 40, no. 4 (April 2022): 539–45. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-021-01068-2.
  • DeBenedictis, Erika A., Emma J. Chory, Dana W. Gretton, Brian Wang, Stefan Golas, and Kevin M. Esvelt. “Systematic molecular evolution enables robust biomolecule discovery.” Nature Methods 19, no. 1 (January 2022): 55–64. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-021-01348-4.