Feedback Control Systems in Molecular Biology
Dr. Mary Dunlop
Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Vermont
October 1, 2010
12:50 - 1:40 pm
207 Votey Hall
Organisms use feedback to respond to changing conditions and optimize the use of resources. In this talk I will introduce the field of synthetic biology and discuss how its engineering principles can be applied to study and build novel feedback circuits in single-celled microbes. I will discuss two examples: a feedback circuit for improving microbial biofuel production and a natural example of a feedback loop that leads to antibiotic resistance.
Before joining UVM in July 2010, Dr. Mary Dunlop was a postdoc at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab) where she worked on improving microbial biofuel production. She received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech where she studied dynamic gene regulation in single-celled microorganisms. Her research interests center on control theory and synthetic biology. Her lab studies how feedback control systems are implemented in molecular biology. She is particularly interested in processes that are dynamic and use fluorescent proteins and time-lapse microscopy to image single cells over the course of many hours. Applications include problems in bioenergy and medicine.