Biological networks, like electrical circuits, take specific inputs
(nutrient availability, stress, hormones) and convert them into
appropriate outputs (transcriptional responses, metabolic remodeling).
Electrical engineers uncover the inner workings of such circuits by
measuring the transfer function between input voltage and output
voltage. However, unlike electrical engineers, biologists are more
limited in the input signals they can generate to interrogate such
networks. We are developing microfluidic and optogenetic tools to
generate dynamic inputs to interrogate and control natural and synthetic
biological networks. In this talk I will discuss our use of
microfluidics to dissect the mechanisms and kinetics of signaling in
stress response networks in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
In addition, I will discuss our recent efforts to develop real-time
optogenetic control of protein concentration as a tool for manipulating
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