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Rao Lab

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Our overall goal is to develop a theoretical framework for cellular regulation, namely a theory of feedback control applicable to biological systems. We are specifically interested in discovering how this regulation is genetically encoded within cells and in developing tools for reprogramming this control.

Bacterial Pathogensis

Salmonella is the causative agent for a wide range of diseases in humans, including gastroenteritis and enteric fever. Worldwide, Salmonella is estimated to cause over sixteen million cases of typhoid fever, resulting in approximately six hundred thousand deaths, and over one billion cases of acute gastroenteritis, resulting in approximately three million deaths, each year. Over five hundred genes in Salmonella are directly involved in pathogenesis. Yet, only a subset of these is expressed at a given time. Currently, an integrated model for differential gene expression is lacking. To address this problem, we are investigating how Salmonella dynamically regulates gene expression during the different phases of the infection cycle. By characterizing how these genes are coordinately expressed and regulated, we aim to understand the infection process and, more importantly, discover novel targets for antibiotics.

Bacterial Motility

Bacillus subtilis Chemotaxis

Leukocyte Chemotaxis

Synthetic Biology


Systems Engineering