Using noise to understand and control biological circuitry

Fluctuations in gene expression, or "noise," are ubiquitous across biological processes in all cell types and organisms. Being statistical in nature, gene expression from individual cells often yields insight that cannot be revealed from the ensemble or population level.

Silhouette of two humans standing in front of colored noise background.

Can we understand and control fluctuations in gene expression to gain a desired biological function, for example, in a disease?

Our lab is interested in the modeling and experimentation of dynamic processes in gene circuits and networks. We are researching the fundamentals to: control biological noise for biasing cellular decision making, characterize dynamics in gene expression, and for drug screening at the single-cell level. Also of interest are systems biology projects by top-down investigation of genome-wide organizational principles using large-scale datasets coupled with modeling and experimentation.

 

"Look, I really don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive, you've got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy, colorful and lively."
- Mel Brooks