RESEARCH AREAS

Systems biology of interacting oscillators:  Our lab studies the systems biology of interacting oscillators in yeast, where metabolic cycles interact with the cell cycle within single cells.  We measure and perturb the metabolic cycle and cell cycle to understand how and why these oscillators interact in budding yeast. We also study the interaction of redox rhythms with the circadian clock in plants through collaboration.

Evolution of the eukaryotic cell cycle:  The cell cycle network and its associated dynamic properties in yeasts and animals are highly conserved, although individual proteins performing similar network roles can be unrelated. For example, our lab recently showed that a horizontally-transferred protein (SBF) integrated into the G1/S regulatory network and eventually replaced the original transcription factor (E2F) in the ancestor of most Fungi without disrupting the cell cycle.  Some early-diverging Fungi have a hybrid regulatory network with both SBF and E2F transcription factors.  Our lab is working with Spizellomyces punctatus, an early-diverging fungus known as a Chytrid, to understand the evolution of the eukaryotic cell cycle.

Tools and methods to measure dynamics in single-cells: Transcription is stochastic and cell-to-cell variation in gene expression across a clonal population is a fact of life. We develop tools and methods to measure gene dynamics in single cells (where the action is happening) and, thus, circumvent the population-averaging and masking that occurs with standard bulk assays.