EECS Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Wednesday, February 5, 2003
Hewlett Packard Auditorium, 306 Soda Hall
4:00-5:00 p.m.

Professor Adam P. Arkin

Departments of Bioengineering and Chemistry, U.C. Berkeley


Motifs and Modules in Cellular
Signal Processing




Bacterial and animal cells are dynamic machines whose internal chemical networks perform hundreds of complex control and signal processing tasks to govern cellular development over time and in response to deterministic and stochastic signals from the environment. A central challenge in post-genomic biology is to discover the complete physical nature of these networks and to determine if there are principles of control and signal processing by which these cell operate and evolve. If such principles exist then they are handles by which cellular engineers can determine the best placement of external signals (such as pharmaceuticals) to cause a cell to move from an undesired state to a desired state. Here, initial attempts at determining the principles of control, the possible modular structure and the nature of signal flow in cellular networks are briefly introduced.


Adam Arkin is head of a research group in quantitative biology at UCB/LBNL. This group of thirty computational and experimental researchers is focused on developing a physically-based engineering discipline for cellular and multicellular systems. Such a discipline will lead to a deeper understanding of cellular regulation and development, more efficient discovery of cellular networks, and a better ability to engineer or control cells for industrial or medical purposes. To this end his team develops and applies mathematical theory, computational and experimental approaches to analysis of cellular function.

Adam Arkin received his Bachelors in 1988 at Carleton College in Chemistry and his Ph.D. in 1992 at MIT in Physical Chemistry. He did postdoc work in nonlinear chemistry and modeling development at Stanford 1992-1997. Dr. Arkin joined Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in 1998 as a staff scientist. In 1999 Dr. Arkin also joined the Departments of Bioengineering and Chemistry at U.C. Berkeley, while continuing his work with the Computational and Theoretical Biology Department at LBNL. He is an Assistant Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Arkin has received many honors including being named Future Innovator in 2000 by Time Magazine and one of the TechReview 100 most innovative Young Scientists in 1999. He is currently the director of the Virtual Institute for Microbial Stress and Survival, a new multi- institutional effort funded under the Genomes to Life program from the Department of Energy.