Senior Research Scientist
My work aligns generally with quantitative cell biology. More specifically, I'm interested in understanding of how gene regulatory networks define cellular phenotypes. Currently at the ISB, I'm working on several projects:
Adaptive Prediction. The ability of microorganisms to conditionally adapt to future conditions is a behavior termed adaptive prediction (AP) that erodes rapidly when the structure of their environment changes. Working with yeast as model organism, I’m currently investigating the dynamics of AP emergence when a population encounters an environment with synthetic novel structure.
Resilience of Biological Systems. Resilience is a system’s ability to adjust its activity to retain its basic functionality when errors, failures and environmental changes occur. I’m currently working on quantifying and characterizing the molecular mechanisms of resilience in microbial populations, from diatoms under climate change conditions to syntrophic anaerobic communities.
Molecular Mechanisms of Phenotype Transitions. Upon nutrient starvation, unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii undergoes a lipid accumulation phenotype. I’m currently working on a high resolution time series interrogation of 3 molecular layers (mRNA, miRNA and chromatin state) that grant this phenotype transition under 3 different nutrient starvations, and their corresponding reversions after nutrient re-supplementations.
Translational Regulation. The prevailing view that all ribosomes within a cell are structurally identical and functionally equivalent was challenged long ago, and is becoming increasingly less tenable with modern experimental tools. I’m currently working to establish a basis for conditional regulation of ribosomal protein genes and other translation system elements across all domains of life.
Single Cell Gene Regulatory Networks Inference. Development of multicellular organisms from a single cell is arguably one of the most fascinating phenomena in biology. Mechanistic understanding of such a complex process is an important scientific challenge. My future work aligns with the development of a systems perspective framework to comprehend how individual cellular states emerge and collectively result in a homeostatic multicellular organism.