Adam Arkin

Research Expertise and Interest

Systems and Synthetic Biology, Environmental Microbiology of Bacteria and Viruses, bioenergy, Biomedicine, Bioremediation, space, green and sustainable manufacturing, sustainability

Research Description

The Arkin laboratory for systems and synthetic biology seeks to uncover the evolutionary design principles of cellular networks and populations and to exploit them for applications. To do so they are developing a framework to effectively combine comparative functional genomics, quantitative measurement of cellular dynamics, biophysical modeling of cellular networks, and cellular circuit design to ultimately facilitate applications in health, the environment, and the circular bioeconomy on earth and in space. We lead three major projects: The Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies (ENIGMA) program which seek to advance a predictive, mechanistic understanding of microbial biology and the impact of microbial communities on their ecosystems; The DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase) is a software and data science platform designed to meet the grand challenge of transparent, reusable, reproducible systems biology: predicting and designing biological function; and the Center for Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES) which aims to create a high efficiency sustainable and regenerable biomanufacturing platform for functional food, pharmaceuticals and materials for prolonged deep space missions. They also work on 'living' therapies such as phage to treat antimicrobial resistant microbes or creation of microbial probiotics that sense and protect against respiratory infection. 

In the News

Solar Beats Nuclear at Many Potential Settlement Sites on Mars

The high efficiency, light weight and flexibility of the latest solar cell technology means photovoltaics could provide all the power needed for an extended mission to Mars, or even a permanent settlement there, according to a new analysis by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.

Berkeley Lab’s Adam Arkin Wins 2013 Lawrence Award

Arkin has been named one of six recipients of the 2013 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. The E.O. Lawrence Award, the DOE’s highest scientific honor, is recognizing Arkin “for his work advancing biological and environmental sciences."

A Welcome Predictability

Synthetic biology is the latest and most advanced phase of genetic engineering, holding great promise for helping to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems, including the sustainable production of energy fuels and critical medical drugs, and the safe removal of toxic and radioactive waste from the environment.

Agilent helps launch new synthetic biology center

Agilent Technologies Inc. has signed up to support the newly launched Synthetic Biology Institute (SBI), which will help advance efforts to engineer cells and biological systems in ways that could transform health and medicine, energy, the environment and new materials.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
June 10, 2019
Peter Fimrite
At Berkeley's Center for Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space, or CUBES, bioengineering professor Adam Arkin is leading NASA-funded research into what plants and organisms could be genetically engineered to grow useful products in deep space. For example, Arkin says: "We have organisms that can take those sugars and make plastics out of them. ... We could literally make things that can be put into a 3-D printer, and the 3-D printer could create everything from tools to bioreactors to tables and chairs, ultimately." According to this reporter: "Some of Arkin's experiments are likely to be employed on the moon orbiter known as Gateway scheduled to launch in 2024. If all goes as planned, a whole slew of space-adapted organisms will be ready to go by 2033, the favored launch window for a manned mission to Mars." Link to slide show and video. For more on this, see the press release that was issued five years ago, when the grant was first announced.
FullStory (*requires registration)

Loading Class list ...