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Engineered Gene Circuits: From Oscillators to Synchronized Clocks and Biopixels

Event Type
Bioengineering Seminar
2240 DCL
Mar 7, 2013   12:00 pm  
Dr. Jeff Hasty, University of California, San Diego
Originating Calendar
MechSE Events
This talk will focus on the development of synthetic gene oscillators and their synchronization. Dr. Hasty will describe an engineered intracellular oscillator that is fast, robust, and persistent, with tunable oscillatory periods as fast as 13 minutes. Experiments show remarkably robust and persistent oscillations in the designed circuit; almost every cell exhibits large-amplitude uorescence oscillations throughout each  experiment. Theory reveals that the key design principles for constructing a robust oscillator are a small time delay in the negative feedback loop and enzymatic protein decay that functions as an "overloaded" queue. Dr. Hasty also will describe intercellular coupling that is used to generate synchronized oscillations in a growing population of cells. Microuidic devices tailored for cellular populations are used to demonstrate collective synchronization properties along with spatiotemporal waves occurring on millimeter scales. While quorum sensing proves to be a promising design strategy for reducing variability through coordination across a cellular population, the length scales are limited by the diffusion time of the small molecule governing the intercellular communication. The seminar will conclude with recent progress engineering the synchronization of thousands of oscillating colony "biopixels" over centimeter length scales.
Dr. Jeff Hasty received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Georgia Institute ofTechnology in 1997. He was a postdoc with Jorge Vinals at the Supercomputing Computations
Research Institute, Florida State University, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Applied BioDynamics Lab at Boston University. Currently he is a Professor in the Departments
of Molecular Biology and Bioengineering, and the Director of the BioCircuits Institute at the University of California, San Diego. His main interest is the design and construction of synthetic generegulatory and signaling networks.
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