My projects in Gábor Balázsi's laboratory explore the effects of single-cell dynamics on evolutionary fitness in natural and synthetic systems with a theory-driven experimental approach.
Basic research in the fundamental physical processes of biology is essential to lay the groundwork for the next generation of medical and industrial applications. In the laboratory, synthetic gene circuits often mutate away, while natural circuits are much more stable. Ongoing projects with my co-workers aim to characterize the fitness of synthetic gene circuits, and to understand the selective pressures and dynamics that have evolved in natural biochemical systems. Methods used for these projects include experimental single-cell network construction and measurement, laboratory evolution in diverse environments, data analysis, stochastic simulations and mathematical modeling.
Poster at the Computational and Theoretical Biology Symposium: Toxic Assets in Cellular Economies
Paper: J. Christian J. Ray, and Oleg A. Igoshin. Interplay of Gene Expression Noise and Ultrasensitive Dynamics Affects Bacterial Operon Organization. PLOS Comp Biol 8(8): e1002672. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002672
Paper: Selwyn Quan, J. Christian J. Ray, Zakari Kwota, Trang Duong, Gábor Balázsi, Tim F. Cooper, Russell D. Monds. Adaptive Evolution of the Lactose Utilization Network in Experimentally Evolved Populations of Escherichia coli. PLoS Genet 8(1): e1002444 (January 2012) doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002444
Review: J.C.J. Ray, J.J. Tabor and O.A. Igoshin. Non-transcriptional regulatory processes shape transcriptional network dynamics. Nature Reviews Microbiology 9, 817-828 (November 2011) doi:10.1038/nrmicro2667