Engineering Cell Signaling AND Behavior

We work to understand how cells interpret complex molecular signals to make essential decisions, like whether to grow or to die. We focus on understanding how cells perceive signals through time and how the dynamics of a signals can specify cell fate. We have pioneered light-activatible -- or optogenetic -- tools that allow us to project high-definition signals onto cells in real time. Our studies aim to uncover new principles of proper cell function, its dysregulation in diseases like cancer, and new strategies for cellular engineering and control for various therapeutic and industrial applications.