CBE/ENGR 225 Faculty Seminar: Michael B. Elowitz, Ph.D. Professor of Biology and Bioengineering Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Executive Officer for Biological Engineering California Institute of Technology
Michael B. Elowitz, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology and Bioengineering
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
California Institute of Technology
Host: Otger Campas
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Location: Elings Hall, room #1601
*Light refreshments will be provided*
Design Principles of Mammalian Signaling and Epigenetic Memory Circuits
ABSTRACT: Individual cells communicate, remember, and differentiate using a set of conserved genetic circuits (or pathways) that play central roles in development, physiology, and disease, and are frequent targets for drug development. While we have much information about the specific molecules and interactions that comprise these pathways, we often understand little about the actual functions they can, and cannot, provide for cells. To address this issue, we have been developing a ‘build-to-understand’ approach, reconstructing or re-wiring these pathways using synthetic biology approaches, and analyzing their dynamic behaviors at the level of individual cells. Here I will discuss new results applying this approach to epigenetic memory systems, developmental signaling pathways, and cell state switching processes. These results identify specific signal processing capabilities and show how they emerge from architectural features of underlying gene circuits.