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The complexity of genetic networks is a daunting challenge for developmental biologists. In plants, this complexity is increased by the strong influence of the environment. Small molecule hormones are critical integrators of developmental, environmental and metabolic cues. Using a diverse set of tools drawn from synthetic biology, molecular genetics and evolutionary biology, the Nemhauser Lab is discovering how the architecture and dynamics of hormone-triggered signaling networks allow for the effective processing of information about the extrinsic and intrinsic environment. Along the way, we are mechanistically dissecting cellular functions shared by most eukaryotes, such as ubiquitin-mediated protein turnover, transcriptional activation and repression, and state memory. Ultimately, these findings can be used to understand natural systems and guide the design of novel organisms.
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Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center | University of Washington
Institute for Systems Biology | Seattle Biomed