Jeff Hasty

Work and research

Dr. Hasty's research focuses on the construction and utilization of synthetic gene circuits for dissecting, analyzing, and controlling the dynamical interactions involved in gene regulation.

En savoir plusThe BioCircuits Institute (BCI)

The BioCircuits Institute (BCI) focuses on understanding the dynamic properties of biological regulatory circuits that control their homeostasis and signal responsiveness. These circuits span the scales of biology, from intracellular regulatory modules to neurobiological intercellular networks, to population dynamics and organ function. The mission of the BCI is the development and experimental validation of theoretical and computational models to understand, predict, and control complex biological functions, and implementation of these functions in practical engineering solutions.

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En savoir plusUCSD Biodynamics Laboratory

Technology is driving revolutionary changes in biology. What began as the sequencing era has led to methods for deducing the network architecture that defines gene regulation and cellular signaling. Systems Biology can be viewed as the generation of such networks, along with the development of computational models to describe how they mitigate cellular behavior. Likewise, DNA synthesis technologies are driving the development of Synthetic Biology, whereby genomes can be reconstituted from chemical building blocks. This could lead to cells with highly reduced genomic complexity, as genes that govern the ability to adapt to multiple environments are eliminated to construct specialized organisms for biotechnology and basic research. Finally, imaging technologies that span many length scales, from tissues to single molecules, are catalyzing the development of Quantitative Biology. A central goal of Q-Bio is the deduction of the fundamental equations that can be used to describe biology.

The Biodynamics Laboratory (BDL) seeks to understand the network interactions that mediate gene regulation and cellular signaling. Since behavior arising from these complex interactions is difficult to predict with qualitative reasoning, we employ experimentally validated computational modeling approaches. We design and construct de novo synthetic gene circuits, which provide a natural framework for reducing the complexity of gene regulatory networks. We use tools from physics and engineering to study such simplified systems and to dissect, analyze, and control the modular components that govern the dynamics of gene regulation and cellular signaling.

Synthetic Biology

The engineering of genetic circuits with predictive functionality in living cells is a defining focus of synthetic biology. What started with the design and construction of a genetic toggle switch and an oscillator a decade ago, has led to circuits capable of pattern generation, edge detection and event counting. We have sucessfully engineered a gene network with global intercellular coupling which can generate synchronized oscillations in a growing population of cells- using microfluidic devices tailored for cellular populations at differing length scales, we investigate synchronization properties and spatiotemporal waves. Our synchronized genetic clock sets the stage for the use of microbes in the creation of a macroscopic biosensor with an oscillatory output, and provides a specific model system for the generation of a mechanistic description of emergent coordinated behaviour at the colony level.

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Recent publications




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