Cells must sense and process diverse stimuli in order to survive and thrive.   Our research focuses on experimentally and theoretically answering the following questions about biological signal processing:

  • Signaling Specificity: How do signaling pathways that share multiple components or regulatory interactions respond specifically to their input without crosstalk?   Under what conditions is crosstalk desirable or functional?
  • Determination of in vivo kinetics:   How fast does a signal propagate through a signaling pathway?   How does this determine the bandwidth, or information carrying capacity, of the pathway?   How does this signaling speed set appropriate thresholds and filtering behavior?
  • Transcription factor regulation: How are transcription factors regulated to produce appropriate transcriptional outputs?   How can the dynamics of transcription factor activity be used to differentially regulate transcriptional targets?   What is the transfer function between transcription factor concentration and transcriptional output?
  • Controllability:   Given our understanding of the basic principles of biological signal processing can we control and engineer biological networks for applications in biomedicine and bioengineering?