Making Sense of Biological Designs

We are curious about how biological systems are built. We want to understand the engineering principles and molecular mechanisms of how things are built and how things function. In the lab, we study multiple scales of biological organisation, from small protein circuits, signaling pathways, developmental programs, to organisms. We enjoy using various tools, such as paper-and-pencil mathematical modeling, computer simulation, biochemistry, single-cell imaging, histology, molecular biology, experiments in frog embryos, and lately, some cutting and grinding experiments in jellies.

Check out our Systems Biology Program at Caltech!

Opening for a lab technician.



March 29, 2019

We are looking for a technician to work on regeneration research.  The project will be an opportunity to gain experience in molecular and cell biology techniques, and participate in fundamental discoveries in regeneration biology.  There will also be opportunities to do experiments with a variety of unusual, non-model organisms, such as jellyfish, beetles, and leeches.  We are looking for an adventurous and creative individual who loves to do science and is not afraid to try something new.  If you are interested, email Lea.

March 15, 2019

We welcome new people to the lab.  Fayth Tan is a graduate student in biology who will bring worms and insects to the lab.  She is not the only one in the covert operation of turning the lab into a zoo.  Aki Ohdera joins the lab as a postdoc, and he is already making regular trips to the beach and bringing back a variety of marine creatures.  We also welcome Anish Sarma, a graduate student in CNS, officially in John Doyle’s lab.  Anish is exploring design and trade-off in biological systems.

March 1, 2019

The lab is experiencing the first major turnover.  These past several months we said goodbye to Michael, Noah, and Harry who graduated.  We said goodbye to David who is starting his own lab.  We recently said goodbye to Ty, who moved to Pennsylvania to be closer with his family.  And Chris and Kibeom are graduating this summer.  It is a bittersweet milestone.  We celebrate their next adventures.  But, the lab as we have known it these past 7 years will be no more.  Together, we have dreamed and imagined.  We have taken things apart, and we have built things.  We have encouraged each other to always reach for the sky.  Thank you, to each of you, for all the adventures, and the friendship.

November 13, 2018

*drum roll*  Check out Harry’s paper that just came out in eLife!   The title of the paper is: Signaling pathways as linear transmitters.  Also check out an accompanying Insight article by Steven Andrews, Roger Brent, and Gabor Balazsi.  We are so proud of this paper, so much work went into it.  The peer-review process was tough, but it really made the paper better in the end.  So thank you to the editor and reviewers at eLife who kindly took their time to critique the paper!

April 20, 2018

Noah wrote an opinion piece for Current Opinion in Biotechnology, There is (still) plenty of room at the bottom.  Inspired by Feynman’s lecture 60 years ago, Noah argues that even as the field moves forward to analyze more and more complex networks comprised of many molecules, there are still many fascinating computations to be discovered within the molecules, and that understanding these computations may have interesting ramifications.

April 19, 2018

Welcome, Lev Tsypin!  Lev is rotating in the lab this quarter.  He is exploring several fun ideas for projects, some of which involve possibly expanding the organismal ecosystem in the lab.  Check out Lev posing with an old microscope from Seymour Benzer’s lab.