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 bioenergy. 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.
In the News
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."
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 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.
Bioengineers from the UC Berkeley and Stanford University are ramping up efforts to characterize the thousands of control elements critical to the engineering of microbes so that eventually, researchers can mix and match these "DNA parts" in synthetic organisms to produce new drugs, fuels or chemicals.