Our lab is interested in the systems biology and evolution of epigenetic switches (bistability) and clocks (oscillators) in gene regulatory networks, two functions that are essential for proper patterning, cell proliferation, and cellular differentiation in biological systems.
Duke’s iGEM team traveled to compete at the Giant Jamboree in Boston on October 30th – November 3rd, 2014. There were 2500 synthetic biology researchers (mostly undergraduates) from 245 universities across 32 countries. Each team showcased their yearly achievements in synthetic biology at the iGEM Synthetic Biology competition. Duke got gold! Congratulations! Read more about their summer project here.
Delta Ghoshal, Mike Zhu, Matthew Faw, and Garima Tomar (NCSSM) represented Duke at the Giant Jamboree. The team was mentored by Charlie Cooper (graduate student, Biochemistry) and generously funded by the Lord Alstadt Foundation. The faculty sponsors were Nicolas Buchler and Charles Gersbach.
Mazo-Vargas et al. was published in November 5th, 2014 issue of the Molecular Biology of the Cell.
Beetle luciferases and time-lapse luminescence microscopy were optimized to measure the dynamics of cell cycle genes in yeast with subminute time resolution. This method is faster and the cells are smaller than in previous work. It is shown that luciferase reporters are better than fluorescent proteins at tracking gene expression. Timelapse luminescence movie can be found at Duke Research Blog post here.
The Buchler lab welcomes the Duke 2014 iGEM team (Anthony Ciesla, Matthew Farnitano, Matthew Faw, Delta Ghoshal, Garima Tomar, Janan Zhu, Mike Zhu). These Duke undergraduates and NCSSM high-school students are building synthetic switches and oscillators in bacteria using CRISPRs.
From left to right: Nick Buchler (bottom), Charlie Cooper, Garima Tomar, Matt Faw (top), Anthony Ciesla, Delta Ghoshal, Matt Farnitano, Charlie Gersbach, and Mike Zhu