How and why cells decouple whether and how strongly to express a gene

31 May 2019

Michael Springer
Department of Systems Biology
Harvard Medical School


Cells in nature are often faced with conflicting signals from which they have to make a single decision. To uncover design principles/motifs of cellular decision-making, my lab uses the galactose response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model. Careful quantitative multidimensional dissection of the pathway has uncovered qualitative behaviors that had been missed in the many years of analysis of the pathway. These behaviors include ratiometric sensing, decoupling of the decision to induce and the level of induction, and flux sensing. I will discuss these design principles/motifs, the mechanisms that underlie them, and some physiological consequences of these designs.

current theory lunch schedule