A great deal of current research efforts in the life sciences are devoted to the connection between molecular details and organism behaviour. Our research group is focused on Quantitative Systems Biology, an interdisciplinary approach that synthesizes information spanning multiple scales: genomic sequence, protein expression, physiology, metabolism, and the context of the organism within its environment.
Much of our group’s work addresses the behavior of bacterial cells, with a specific focus on general ‘design principles’ of biology. Our foundational research complements an applied program, which focuses on biomanfacturing of proteins, environmental remediation, and novel clinical therapies. These projects, which involve coordination between laboratory experiments and mathematical model building, address the organization of existing biological networks as well as the design of engineered strains and synthetic networks.
One long-term goal of our group is to elucidate the role of growth-mediated constraints on gene expression. Toward this end we are investigating the effects of growth rate on the function of simple genetic devices. Such growth rate-related effects can play a key role in dictating system behavior.
Resources and Instrumentation
The mathematical biology laboratory is designed for the growth and analysis of biosafety level 1 organisms (primarily Escherichia coli and other bacteria).
Amnis Imagestream MkII
Through funding provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the laboratory is equiped with an imaging flow cytometer, with 488 nm and 642 nm excitation lasers, as well as 60x magnification to provide high-throughput imaging at a resolution of about 0.33 microns/pixel.The video embedded below surveys the breadth of biology-focused research activities in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo.