National Centers for Systems Biology

Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology (UC San Francisco)

Principal investigator: Wendell Lim, Ph.D., University of California San Francisco (UCSF)

Other key investigators: Nevan Krogan, Hana El-Samad, Hao Li, Zev Gartner, Leor Weinberger, Wallace Marshall, Michael Fischbach, Alma Burlingame, Jasper Rine (UC Berkeley)

Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology website

The UCSF Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology is combining the approaches for forward and reverse biological engineering to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms by which cellular networks solve physiological problems in signal processing and regulation.  We are mapping complex regulatory networks involved in cell signaling and metabolic regulation; comparing these networks across species; computationally mapping the relationship between network architecture and function; and building and exploring combinatorial network libraries for diverse modular functions.  We are interested in the following questions:

  • how are molecular components in cellular networks organized to yield complex biological function?
  • are there common evolutionary solutions to core biological problems?
  • can we understand how network breakdown leads to disease?
  • can we utilize these emerging design principles to engineer biological systems to solve problems in health, energy and environment?