Analysis and Design of Biomolecular Feedback Systems

May 03, 2013, ESB 2001

Richard Murray

California Institute of Technology, Control & Dynamical Systems


Biological systems make use of feedback in an extraordinary number of ways, on scales ranging from molecules to cells to organisms to ecosystems. In this talk I will discuss the use of concepts from control and dynamical systems in the analysis and design of biological feedback circuits at the molecular level. After a brief survey of relevant concepts from synthetic biology, I will present some recent results that combine modeling, identification, design and experimental implementation of biological feedback circuits. These results include the use of intrinsic noise for system identification in transcriptional regulatory networks, analysis of the role of multiple feedback loops in providing robust behavior (ultrasensitivity and biomodality), development of in vitro circuits for rate regulation and even detection, and the use of time delay as a means of designing biomolecular feedback dynamics. Using these results as examples, I will discuss some of the open problems and research challenges in the area feedback control using biological circuits.

Speaker's Bio

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 design of reactive control protocols for distributed embedded systems and analysis and design of biomolecular feedback circuits.