Mission Statement

Lab mission

What we do: We are a new and heavily interdisciplinary lab that uses computational and experimental methods to address questions in evolutionary, systems and synthetic biology. More specifically, we focus on the following areas:

Although seemingly disparate, these areas share common methods and advances in one area produces knowledge that can be transformative in another. For example, understanding how bacteria evolve and what the mechanisms responsible for their rich behavioral repertoire are, can guide us to engineer them efficiently. Similarly, we can gain insight on the dynamic behavior of bacterial systems by constructing synthetic systems that we can control.

How we do it: We employ machine learning, optimization, graph theory, multiscale modeling, large-scale HPC simulations to evaluate hypotheses and analyze biological systems. In parallel, we perform laboratory evolution of microbial cultures in serial passages and chemostats, we design and characterize synthetic gene circuits with desired functions, and we validate computational predictions in our experimental lab.

Why we do it: Long hours, low pay, constant pressure over results, papers and grants, it sounds almost masochistic to work on cutting-edge topics in a top research institution. Still, the gratification of discovering something new that can be beneficial to society, living in a vibrant environment and sense of fullfilment is difficult to match.