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Research GBB Research Principal Investigators Dr. Andreas Milias-Argeitis

Research Highlights

Dr. Andreas Milias-Argeitis

Figure 1
Figure 1

Computational systems biology for optogenetic applications

Optogenetic manipulation of biological systems holds the promise to revolutionize many areas of biology and biotechnology. The use of light-sensitive proteins enables the rapid, targeted, low-cost, and precise spatio-temporal modulation of cell behavior with low to no toxicity, while avoiding the pleiotropic effects of small-molecule inducers. A key optogenetic application is the dynamic control of gene expression that impacts biotechnology and biomolecular science. The Milias-Argeitis group has demonstrated that the behavior of a light-sensitive gene expression system in yeast can be regulated in a precise manner using computer-based feedback control techniquesa. Recently, they developed a fully automated system for optical feedback control of gene expression in continuous liquid bacterial culturesb and explored various control approaches for achieving robust and precise regulation in the face of limitations and large global perturbations encountered in practice. Simultaneously, they showed how the bacterial growth rate can be precisely manipulated by optogenetic regulation of a key anabolic enzyme. The group has proved that optogenetics provides a very versatile tool for the efficient characterization of biochemical reaction networks when combined with experiment design techniquesc. The long-term goal is to creatively combine optogenetic, machine learning and control theory methods to answer biological questions related to the structure and function of gene and signaling networksd.

a Nature Biotechnol (2011); b Nature Comm (2016); c PNAS USA (2015); dPLoS Comp Biol (2016)

Last modified:04 July 2017 10.12 a.m.