Cameron Stewart



Research Summary


Unlike chemicals, light is cheap to administer and easy to remove. A way to control protein activity or concentration in S. cerevisiae with light could be a cost-effective means to throttle rate-limiting enzymes. Furthermore, it could enable researchers to study genes by dynamically regulating their transcription in a chemically constant environment. To make this generator one would need the lab tools to culture, stimulate, and observe the cells and the biochemical/genetic tools to control protein concentration with light. The former is described in the JoVE video above. A prototype of the latter was used in the JoVE paper which controlled fluorescent protein concentration by regulating the binding of a novel light-inducible transcription factor to a synthetic promoter. The requisite DNA sequences are being added to a toolkit of plasmids which will enable them to be easily applied to regulate other genes via Golden Gate assembly.


  • BA (Physics), Vanderbilt University, 2014

Research Interests

  • Controlling gene expression in space and time with light-activatable transcription factors—optogenetics
  • Using informative time-varying perturbations to study gene regulation
  • Automating image analysis
  • Control theory

Contact Information
Engineering Centers Bldg 3153
1550 Engineering Dr
Madison, WI 53706

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