|Date: Monday, March 14, 2016
Location: 335 West Hall (12:00 PM to 1:00 PM)
Title: Engineered Genetic Clocks: From “degrade and fire” to “integrate and fire” dynamics
Abstract: A defining component of Synthetic Biology is the development of theoretical modeling that can serve as the foundation for a new type of cellular engineering. This talk will be anchored by my quest to build genetic oscillators in bacteria, with a particular focus on the utility of theory and computation. I'll start by describing how the coupling of transcriptional activators and repressors was originally modeled as a type of classical "predator-prey" system. Although this system led to the design of a robust intracellular clock (http://biodynamics.ucsd.edu/Intracellular.mov), I'll show how the experiments pointed to a different type of "degrade and fire" oscillator characterized
by a coupled set of delayed differential equations. Interestingly, the biological constraints naturally lead to a system that can be solved approximately.
In terms of engineering, the clock was not of the Swiss variety; the period
and amplitude exhibited large intracellular variability. However, it provided
a benchmark for the development of general synchronization strategies that can
restore determinism. I'll conclude with our efforts to use cellular communication to couple clocks between cells (http://biodynamics.ucsd.edu/Intercellular.mov) and colonies (http://biodynamics.ucsd.edu/Intercolony.mov). Here, the threshold nature of the communication mechanism leads naturally to oscillators that are highly reminiscent of "integrate and fire" systems in neuroscience.
Speaker: Jeff Hasty
Institution: University of California San Diego
Event Organizer: Victoria Booth email@example.com