Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology
The Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology (CSSB) brings together UT researchers across a range of disciplines to quantitatively understand and engineer the regulatory networks underlying organismal biology.
Our research interests include:
- Disease: Developing computer models to better understand a multitude of human diseases and crop traits.
- Drugs: Discovering drugs based on genetic modules shared between humans and organisms as distant as yeast.
- Developing diagnostics for resource-limited settings using smart molecular amplifiers.
- Immunity: Using cutting-edge genome sequence technology to map immune responses.
- Emerging viruses: Finding methods to predict the emergence of the next threats.
- Molecular computation: Developing programmable molecules that contribute to sensors, amplifiers, and organismal operating systems.
Research at the CSSB is focused on the integration of genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics data—offering a more unified view of organisms as integrated networks. Such systems-wide, interdisciplinary approaches allow us to better define the functions of genes, and to accelerate the discovery of new pathways that are critical for various traits and diseases.
Selected projects include: Diagnostics for Developing Markets. Discovering New Disease Genes, Pathways, and Drugs.
HIV/AIDS: An Ongoing Global Pandemic. Two of their contributions to this field are already being translated to public health:
- Development of a synthetic gene that protects against HIV, which is now under therapeutic development for the treatment of AIDS.
- Identification of new genes in the human genome that may help define disease progression. These genes are currently part of a large, ongoing HIV/AIDS association study being conducted using HIV/AIDS cohorts.
Emerging Disease: We are currently focusing on influenza, arenaviruses, and Dengue. We are interested in the host genes that make certain species and individuals more prone to infection by these and other viruses.
Jeffrey E Barrick
Assistant ProfessorMicrobial experimental evolution and synthetic biologyAndrew Ellington
ProfessorIlya J Finkelstein
Assistant ProfessorBiophysical Studies Of Genome MaintenanceGeorge Georgiou
Professor, Other University AffiliateMichael J Hammerling
Graduate Research AssistantVishy Iyer
Department Chair (Interim), ProfessorJonghwan Kim
Assistant ProfessorTranscriptional and epigenetic regulation in Pluripotent stem cells and Cancer cellsEdward M Marcotte
ProfessorAndreas T Matouschek
ProfessorSara L Sawyer
Assistant ProfessorChristopher S Sullivan
Associate ProfessorOur lab aims to understand how DNA tumor viruses interact with host RNAi machineries to replicate, induce tumors, and cause pathogenesis.M. Stephen Trent
ProfessorJohn B Wallingford
Professor, Department Chair (Interim)We combine in vivo imaging with systems biology to explore the cell biological basis of embryonic developmentMarvin Whiteley
ProfessorClaus O Wilke
ProfessorComputational evolutionary biology, Molecular evolution, Virus evolution