Living tissue exhibits exquisite morphologies and material properties that are difficult to match synthetically. For decades, applying extracellular cues to cell aggregates has yielded tremendous gains in engineering tissue, influencing cell behaviors in highly valuable but often uncontrollable ways. My lab seeks a radical departure from this methodology to build next-generation synthetic tissue. We aim to place tissue under engineering control by manipulating and measuring the molecular assembly state at cell junctions. By controlling cell junction assembly states, macroscopic properties, such as permeability, stiffness, adhesiveness, and material transfer, can be tuned dynamically and orthogonally for regenerative medicine applications. In this proposal, we will develop new i) protein switches, ii) bidirectional contacts, and iii) genomic editing responses to marry the benefits of tissue with the precision of engineering control and feedback, generating a new class of materials.