This page contains a brief summary of my group's current research activities, broken up into the three main areas that cover 90% of our activities. More information is available on the individual project pages below and also in the recent publications from my group.
Analysis and Design of Biomolecular Feedback Systems
Feedback systems are a central part of natural biological systems and an important tool for engineering biocircuits that behave in a predictable fashion. The figure at the right gives a brief overview of the approach we are taking to both synthetic and systems biology. There are three main elements to our research:
- Systems biology - we are working to develop rigorous tools for analyzing the phenotype of complex biomolecular systems based on data-driven models. We are particularly interested in systems involving feedback, since causal reasoning often fails in these systems due to the interaction of multiple components and pathways. Work in this are includes system identification, theory for understanding the role of feedback, and methods for building and analyzing models built using high-throughput datasets.
- In vitro testbeds - we are making use of both transcriptional expression systems and protein expression systems to develop a "biomolecular wind tunnel" that can be used to characterize the behavior of circuits in a systematic fashion as part of the design process.
- Biocircuit design - engineered biological circuits required a combination of system-level principles, circuit-level design and device technologies in order to allow systematic design of robust systems. We are working on developing new device technologies for fast feedback as well as methods for combining multiple feedback mechanisms to provide robust operation in a variety of contexts. Our goal is to participate in the development of systematic methods for biocircuit design that allow us to overcome current limitations in device complexity for synthetic biocircuits.
- Molecular Programming Project (NSF)
- Networked Feedback Systems in Biology (ARO ICB)
- CAGEN: Critical Assessment of Genetically Engineered Networks (NAKFI)
- Network Science and Engineering: A Theory of Network Architecture (NSF)
- Tuning a synthetic in vitro oscillator using control-theoretic tools, Christopher Sturk, Elisa Franco, Richard M Murray. Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), 2010.
- Controlling biological networks by time-delayed signals, Gabor Orosz, Jeff Moehlis, Richard M Murray. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society - A, 368(1911):439-454, 2009.
- Design of insulating devices for in vitro synthetic circuits, Elisa Franco, Domitilla Del Del Vecchio, Richard M Murray. Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), 2009.
- Regulatory activity revealed by dynamic correlations in gene expression noise, Mary J Dunlop, Robert Sidney Cox, Joseph H Levine, Richard M Murray, Michael B Elowitz. Nature Genetics, 40:1493-1498, 2008.
Robotics and Autonomy
Networked Control Systems