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AIRE Masterclass presents: Mustafa Khammash

Fri 21 Jun 11:00 AM - 14:00 PM @ CRI - Auditorium

AIRE Masterclass presents: Mustafa Khammash

The AIRE-LiSc Master proudly presents its next Masterclass with Mustafa Khammash, leader of the Control Theory and Systems Biology Laboratory of the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) of ETH Zurich, located in the city of Basel. His group works at the interface of systems biology, synthetic biology, and control theory. They develop theory and novel computational methods for the modeling, simulation, analysis, and control of biological networks, with a focus on stochastic systems. They utilize these methods for reverse engineering biological networks, with particular interest in understanding the role of dynamics, feedback, and randomness.

Title and abstract of his talk:

Cybergenetics: Theory and Applications of Biomolecular Control Systems

Humans have been influencing the DNA of plants and animals for thousands of years through selective breeding. Yet it is only over the last three decades or so that we have gained the ability to manipulate the DNA itself and directly alter its sequences through the modern tools of genetic engineering. This has revolutionized biotechnology and ushered in the era of synthetic biology. It has also made it possible for the first time to interface living cells with computers that function as real-time control systems, or alternatively to engineer into living cells genetic feedback control systems that automatically monitor and steer the cell’s dynamic behavior. To realize the huge promise of such systems, new theory and methodologies for designing feedback controllers in the special and challenging environment of the cell are beginning to emerge. We refer to this nascent area as Cybergenetics—a modern realization of Norbert Wiener’s Cybernetics vision. Here I will present theoretical and experimental frameworks for the design and synthesis of cybergenetic systems and discuss the various methods for their implementation. I will then introduce the first designer gene network that attains integral feedback in a living cell and demonstrate its tunability and disturbance rejection properties. A growth control application shows the inherent capacity of this genetic control system to deliver robustness and highlights its potential use as a universal controller for regulation of biological variables in arbitrary networks.