Dieter Armbruster is interested in mathematical modeling: Collective behavior of swarms, modeling disaster recovery, modeling and optimization of production flow in semiconductor factories, derivation and analysis of the evolution of ant colonies and other social insects and modeling of molecular signaling pathways have been recent topics. A common feature among all these models is the occurrence of emergent phenomena: the system consisting of many individual parts behaves in novel ways that are not present at the individual level. Understanding the dynamics of emergent phenomena is important to understand the evolution of biological and social behavior, controlling them allows us to optimize factory production, traffic flows and emergency evacuations.
Erika Camacho is an Associate Professor in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. She received B.A. degrees in Mathematics and Economics from Wellesley College, and her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University. Dr. Camacho’s research has been in the applications of mathematical biology to development, retina metabolic and molecular dynamics, and gene expression. In addition to her research, she has focused her efforts on the mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students through research and received numerous recognitions for her results, including from the White House and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Reed Cartwright (Ph.D. Genetics, University of Georgia) is an Assistant Professor of Genomics, Evolution, and Bioinformatics in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. His laboratory is located in The Biodesign Institute at ASU. His research interests cover many different questions in population genetics and molecular evolution, focusing on computational biology and stochastic models. He has worked on frequency-dependent selection models, spatial genetic models, indel evolution models, sequence alignment, and phylogenetic models.
Julian J.-L. Chen is a Professor of Biochemistry at Arizona State University. His research interests are in structure and function of RNA molecules and ribonucleoprotein complexes. He received his Ph.D degree in molecular biology and biochemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Carol Greider's laboratory at Johns Hopkins University before he joined the faculty of Arizona State University in 2004. His research at ASU focuses on the structure, function and evolution of telomerase ribonucleoprotein complexes in cells. Telomerase is an enzyme essential for maintaining telomere length at chromosome ends in most eukaryotes. Because of its role in chromosome stability, telomerase regulation is a critical step in tumorigenesis and aging. Elucidation of the molecular mechanism of telomerase function will have significant impact on the development of therapeutics for human cancer and aging.
Sharon Crook studies the mechanisms and algorithms underlying neural computation. Using mathematical models, analysis and computer simulations, she and her research team examine the dynamics of neurons and networks of neurons. In particular, their focus is on understanding the ability that neurons have to change at a cellular or network level due to trauma, rehabilitation, learning, development, or aging.
Professor Crook and her collaborators are also developing a cyber infrastructure for describing and sharing neuroscience models, as well as new formats to describe neuron anatomy at macro and micro levels, neural network connectivity, and the membrane properties of neurons. This approach is used by software applications to help reproduce simulations of complex models and share models after publication.
Greer Dolby is an evolutionary biologist studying the co-evolutionary nature of Earth and life. She works at the interface of physical and biological processes across timescales; with training in geology and biology she chooses projects motivated by this basic question: how does the physical evolution of Earth drive speciation and the diversity of life we see today?
Stephanie Forrest directs the Biodesign Center for Biocomputation, Security and Society and is Professor of computer science. Previously, she was at University of New Mexico for 27 years and served as Dept. Chair 2006-2011. She is on the Santa Fe Institute External Faculty and spent 2014 at the U.S. Dept. of State working on cyber-policy. She was educated at St. John's College (B.A.) and University of Michigan (M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science). Forrest's research spans biology and computation, including cybersecurity, software engineering, and biological modeling. She is a Fellow of the IEEE, a received the ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award in 2011 and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1991.
Wayne Frasch has developed new assays to examine the rotation of single molecules of molecular motor proteins under a microscope. His lab focuses on the Fo and F1-ATPase rotary motors that comprise the FoF1 ATP synthase. This protein complex synthesizes the majority of ATP in almost all living organisms, which provides the energy for many cellular processes.
Rizal Hariadi is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and the Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics at the Biodesign Institute. His work combines biophysics, DNA nanotechnology, and new technologies for elucidating how cellular functions emerge from interactions between individual molecules in healthy and disease states. Hariadi also has a desire to translate basic research into real-world applications.
Jeff Jensen is a population geneticist and Professor in the ASU School of Life Sciences and the Center for Evolution & Medicine. The Jensen Lab develops theory and statistical methodology for describing and quantifying evolutionary processes, and analyzes natural population data to describe the relative roles of these processes during the colonization of novel environments. The lab also analyzes experimental evolution data in order to gain insights into the underlying distribution of selective effects and fitness landscapes.
Professor Maley is a cancer biologist, evolutionary biologist and computational biologist, working at the intersection of those fields. His team applies evolutionary and ecological theory to three problems in cancer: (1) Neoplastic progression: the evolutionary dynamics among cells of a tumor that drive progression from normal tissue to malignant cancers, (2) Acquired therapeutic resistance: the evolutionary dynamics by which our therapies select for resistance and we fail to cure cancer, and (3) the evolution of cancer suppression mechanisms in large, long-lived animals like elephants and whales (a problem called Peto’s Paradox).
My scientific path has taken me from bioinformatics to wet-bench biology to high-throughput genomic projects. In spring 1999, after I graduated from the University La Sapienza in Rome (Italy), I joined Dr. Lincoln Stein’s lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), NY, as a Scientific Programmer to learn bioinformatics. Lincoln is a pioneer in the field and well-known for developing complex genomic interfaces and tools that make the access and analysis of genomic datasets simple for non-expert users.
Banu Ozkan is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and the director of the Center for Biological Physics at Arizona State University (ASU). Dr. Ozkan has developed novel multi-scale computational methods that will provide protein structure and dynamics fast and accurately. With these methods, she studies the role of protein structural dynamics in evolution and disease pathways. She develop models that provide mechanistic insights about the l mutations involved in human disease, and protein evolution. She also uses these mechanistic principles to de novo design and/or modify function in many diverse enzymes. She also models protein-protein interactions, and with her experimental collaborators, she designs new binding agents and alter the binding affinities.
Susanne Pfeifer is a computational molecular biologist appointed in the ASU School of Life Sciences. The Pfeifer lab is interested in studying genetic and evolutionary processes by combining large-scale, high-throughput sequence data analysis, model-based statistical inference and modelling. The lab has two main foci: first, to understand how natural selection shapes patterns of genetic variation in populations (with particular interest in understanding the process of adaptation during rapid environmental change) and second, to elucidate the causes and consequences of recombination and mutation rate variation (with a focus on primates).
Jay Taylor is an evolutionary biologist who uses mathematical models and statistical genetics to understand how populations evolve in complex and changing environments. His research has largely focused on two areas. One of these concerns the interplay between demographic and environmental stochasticity in evolving populations. Although many selected mutations are either unconditionally advantageous or deleterious in the environments in which they occur, others probably have fitness effects that vary from one generation to the next in response to environmental changes.
Wade Van Horn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and is an investigator of the Biodesign institute, the Center for Personalized Diagnostics, and the Magnetic Resonance Research Center. He joined Arizona State University in 2012 after an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the Department of Biochemistry and the Center for Structural Biology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah Department of Chemistry. His current interests focus on the interplay between biomolecular function and structure, especially as it relates to human physiology and pathophysiology.
Arvind Varsani is a molecular virologist who works across ecosystems from plants to animals and from the tropics to the Antarctic. His research uses a combination of traditional virology, microscopy (including transmission electron microscopy), molecular and cellular biology techniques in conjunction with modern sequencing techniques, synthetic biology and bioinformatics to characterize viruses and understand their dynamics.
Sara Walker is a theoretical physicist and astrobiologist, researching the origin and nature of life on Earth and as it might exist on other worlds. She is Deputy Director of ASU's Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and an Assistant Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. She is also Fellow of the ASU -Santa Fe Institute Center for Biosocial Complex Systems, Co-Founder of the astrobiology-themed social website SAGANet.org, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Blue Marble Space.
Xiao Wang is an associate professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. He is interested in using both forward (synthetic biology) and reverse (systems biology) engineering approaches to understand biology. His group is a team of research scientists, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduate students with backgrounds in mathematics, physics, molecular biology, biomedical engineering and computer sciences.
Melissa Wilson Sayres is a computational biologist whose main research interests include sex-biased biology. She studies the evolution of sex chromosomes (X and Y in mammals), why mutation rates differ between males and females, and how changes in population history affect the sex chromosomes differently than the non-sex chromosomes. Generally she studies mammals, but is also curious about the sex-biased biology of flies, worms and plants.