Synthetic and Systems biology

Computational, Synthetic & Systems biology researchers at UCSB are applying engineering principles and models to advance our understanding of the metabolic, genetic, and regulatory networks underpinning biology; to develop quantitative, predictive descriptions of living organisms; to create biological components and systems that do not exist in the natural world. Computational and experimental research in this area includes: Synthetic biological design, control and computing; Numerical simulation of biological systems and processes; Molecular engineering; Systems biology; -Omics analysis and discovery; bioinformatics and gene network analysis; and to implement new networks in living cells. Applications include conformation-linked sensors that support continuous, real-time molecular measurements in the living body and  the development of novel metabolic pathways (i.e., that do not occur in any single organism) for the production of fine chemicals and new energy sources.

Affiliated Faculty

Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Psychological and Brain Sciences
What does the world look like with a bionic eye?
Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering and of Chemical Engineering
The goal of our lab is to develop novel single-cell sequencing technologies to understand how variability in the epigenome regulates gene expression heterogeneity and cell fate decisions.
Professor, Physics
Research interests of our group are primarily experimental, and span both equilibrium and non-equilibrium phenomena.
Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering
Focuses on molecular engineering of proteins that control spatial organization in biological systems, with applications in plastic remediation and oral vaccine delivery.
Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering and Chemical Engineering
Our research focuses on engineering genetic reporters for imaging what we think of as the "dark matter" of biology - living systems that cannot be readily imaged using existing reporter gene techniques.
Vice Chair, Biological Engineering
Professor of Biological Engineering and of Chemical Engineering
Scholle Chair in Chemical Engineering
Genetic engineering and synthetic biology of non-model microorganisms.
Mehrabian Distinguished Professor
Computer Science
Mechanical Engineering
Modeling, simulation and data analytics of multiscale systems in biology and medicine.
Professor of Biological Engineering, and of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Biomolecular Science and Engineering
In-vivo molecular measurements, anyone?
Associate Professor
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Theogarajan is interested in the marriage between materials, electronics and micro/nanofabrication as a means of developing new devices and tools for medical applications.
Saleh's research is focused on the molecular physics underlying biological systems, with particular experience in nucleic acids, protein/DNA interactions, biomolecular elasticity, and self-assembled biomolecular systems.
Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Director, Dynamical Neuroscience Program
Co-Director, Brain Initiative
We're generally interested in how the brain works, at the level of neurons and synapses.
Assistant Professor Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
We use photo-switchable proteins from plants to understand and control complex cellular behaviors.
Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering
How does life perform computation?