Analysis, Design and Prototyping of Biomolecular Feedback Circuits

Friday, November 22, 2013 - 2:00pm
Fung Auditorium | Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Richard M. Murray

Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering

California Institute of Technology

Analysis, Design and Prototyping of Biomolecular Feedback Circuits


Advances over the past decade have given biological engineers new insights into the role of genetic circuits in nature and the design of biomolecular circuits to implement biological operations in vitro and in vivo.  In this talk I will discuss the use of concepts from systems and control engineering as applied to the analysis and design of biological feedback circuits.  After a brief survey of relevant concepts from synthetic biology, I will present some recent results that combine modeling, analysis, design and experimental implementation of biological feedback circuits.  These results include the role of redundant bioogical pathways for implementing robust decision-making strategies in cells, the use of biomolecular "breadboards" for prototyping and debugging engineered biomolecular circuits, and the implementation of circuits for regulation of gene expression and biomolecular event detection.  Using these results as examples, I will discuss some of the open problems and research challenges in the area feedback control using biological circuits.


Richard M. Murray received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from California Institute of Technology in 1985 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1988 and 1991, respectively.  He is currently the Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control & Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering at Caltech.  Murray's research is in the application of feedback and control to networked systems, with applications in biology and autonomy.  Current projects include specification, design and synthesis of control protocols for networked control systems and analysis and design of biomolecular feedback systems for synthetic biology.