This project, he said, will apply a proactive approach, known as forward engineering, as well as comparative genomics to understand the fundamental design principles of adaptation. It will ask not how any one particular system works, but rather, which core network structures are required to achieve adaptation and which synthetic adaptation circuits can be developed.
"This engineering-inspired approach has the potential to transform medicine," Lim said. "The fundamental understanding of circuit structure and function that emerges will allow us to recognize core circuit architectures in natural systems, how these are perturbed in disease states, and how they can be engineered to carry out therapeutic or biotechnologically useful target functions."
The group will integrate approaches from engineering, genomics, proteomics, systems biology and synthetic biology to identify principles and architectural features involved in common cellular behaviors and will examine these circuits across different species. That information will allow the center to engineer synthetic circuits that can trigger desired cellular responses to external cues, making them potentially useful in biotechnology and biomedicine.
NIGMS provided the support for both of the new centers, which join 10 others that had been set up in previous years.
The funding will enable UCSF to expand its research and start a fellowship program in systems biology aimed at attracting talented young scientists from areas outside UCSF's traditional strengths in the biological sciences, including from engineering, math and information technology.
Those efforts are part of a larger effort under way in the UCSF schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, and the University of California institute for quantitative biosci
|Contact: Kristen Bole|
University of California -- San Francisco