University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

   Neuroscience, particularly chronobiology, is a featured field in this collaboration project with Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, one of the top level medical schools.  Diagnosis tools for rhythm sleep disorders are expected output of this collaboration.

Christopher S. COLWELL, PhD
Prof, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
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Yibin WANG, PhD
Prof, Medical School, UCLA
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Takashi KUDO, PhD
Research Fellow, Medical School, UCLA

Takanari INOUE, PhD
Assoc Prof, Johns Hopkins University
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    Complexity in signaling networks is often derived from co-opting particular sets of molecules for multiple operations. Understanding how cells achieve such sophisticated processing using a finite set of molecules within a confined space –what we call the “signaling paradox”- is critical to cell biology and bioengineering as well as the emerging field of synthetic biology. We have recently developed a series of chemical-molecular tools that allow for inducible, quick-onset and specific perturbation of various signaling molecules. Using this technique in conjunction with conventional fluorescence imaging and biochemical analysis, we are investigating mechano-chemical coupling mechanisms underlying the initiation of neutrophil chemotaxis (known as symmetry breaking), as well as spatio-temporally compartmentalized signaling of Ras and membrane lipids such as phosphoinositides in primary cilia. In parallel, we also try to understand how cell morphology affects a biochemical pathway inside cells. Ultimately, we will generate completely orthogonal machinery in cells to achieve existing, as well as novel, cellular functions.  Our synthetic, multidisciplinary approach will elucidate the signaling paradox in cells created by nature.

synthetic cell biology