Van Oudenaarden Lab
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Phone: (617) 253-4446
Fax: (617) 258-6883
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Bldg. 13-2008 (Office)
Bldg. 13-2048, 13-2056, 13-2060 (Labs)
Cambridge, MA 02139
Living systems are intrinsically noisy. Surprisingly, the functioning of a living organism is not significantly hindered by these random fluctuations. Biological cells can even exploit noise by deliberately introducing diversity into a population. In these cases noise is not a nuisance, but essential for survival. Advances in modern biochemistry and genetics have led to a detailed understanding of the molecular machinery involved in gene expression, and the constant flow of data from the Genome Project has enabled the identification of more and more genes. A millennial challenge is to quantitatively understand how different genes and their regulating proteins are grouped together in genetic circuits, and how stochastic fluctuations influence gene expression in these complex systems. In our group we focus on the importance of noise in the expression of genes by using both experimental and theoretical approaches.
- E. M. Ozbudak, A. Becskei, and A. van Oudenaarden, A system of counteracting feedback loops regulates Cdc42p actvity during spontaneous cell polarization, Developmental Cell 9, 565 (2005).
- A. Becskei, B. B. Kaufmann, and A. van Oudenaarden,Contributions of low molecule number and chromosomal positioning to stochastic gene expression, Nature Genetics 37, 937 (2005).
- M. Acar, A. Becskei, and A. van Oudenaarden,Enhancement of cellular memory by reducing stochastic transitions, Nature 435, 228 (2005).
- J. M. Pedraza and A. van Oudenaarden, Noise propagation in gene networks, Science 307, 1965 (2005).