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Nicolas Buchler

Assistant Professor
(919) 699-8209
Research Interest: 
Cell cycle
Cell biophysics
Signal transduction
Research Summary: 
The evolution of gene networks using a systems biology approach.
Research Description: 

Our lab is interested in the systems biology and evolution of epigenetic switches (bistability) and clocks (oscillators) in gene regulatory networks, two functions that are essential for proper patterning, cell proliferation, and cellular differentiation in biological systems. We take an interdisciplinary approach (experiment and theory; biology and physics; systems and synthetic biology) to understand the diverse molecular and evolutionary mechanisms by which epigenetic memory and oscillation have evolved in gene networks.

Our model organism is budding yeast, one of the best eukaryotes for a systems biology approach to study the evolution of gene networks. We measure and perturb the in vivo dynamics of gene networks using flow cytometry, time-lapse fluorescence microscopy, and yeast molecular genetics. We further combine this quantitative biology approach with comparative genomics to glean how novel dynamics and function have evolved in yeast gene networks.

Punctuated evolution and transitional hybrid network in an ancestral cell cycle of fungi.
Medina EM, Turner JJ, Gordân R, Skotheim JM, Buchler NE.
Elife. 2016. 5: .

Role of DNA binding sites and slow unbinding kinetics in titration-based oscillators.
Karapetyan S, Buchler NE.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2015. 92:062712.

Cell cycle Start is coupled to entry into the yeast metabolic cycle across diverse strains and growth rates.
Burnetti AJ, Aydin M, Buchler NE.
Mol Biol Cell. 2016. 27:64-74.

Redox rhythm reinforces the circadian clock to gate immune response.
Zhou M, Wang W, Karapetyan S, Mwimba M, Marqués J, Buchler NE, Dong X.
Nature. 2015. 523:472-6.

Measuring fast gene dynamics in single cells with time-lapse luminescence microscopy.
Mazo-Vargas A, Park H, Aydin M, Buchler NE.
Mol Biol Cell. 2014. 25:3699-708.