Physics of Information Processing in Living Systems - overview

Our general research interests in biophysics are two-fold: to understand important biological phenomena (e.g., signal transduction) by using tools from physics (computational modeling, statistical physics, dynamical systems analysis); to uncover general design principles and novel physics (e.g., in non-equilibrium thermodynamics, stochastic dynamics) from studying biological systems.

One of the current research interests is to undersatnd the dynamics of information processing in living systems. One of the model systems we focus on is bacterial chemotaxis. By using system-level modeling and analytical theory together with quantitative experiments (carried out by our collaborators' labs), we want to address the following questions:

  • How do cells obtain (sense) and retain environment information (memory)?
  • How do cells process (compute) the information and make decisions?
  • What are the design principles for the molecular circuitry for decision making?
  • What are the physical limitations and costs for cellular computation?
  • How do cells control their molecular machineries, such as their motors?