Research Interests

The first part of my career was devoted to Condensed Matter Physics and included studies of dynamics near phase transitions, high temperature superconductors; and nonlinear dynamics, pattern formation and turbulence in fluids. In the mid 90's I began working on biological problems, initially in Biophysics dealing with the mechanical properties of single DNA molecules when pulled and twisted along with polymer aspects of chromosome structure. Some physical chemical problems posed by protein trafficking in cells were treated with Lippincott-Schwartz at NIH. When the yeast genome became available I developed algorithms to analyze the regulatory sequence on a genome scale. These methods were extended to the early patterning of the fly embryo. With Fred Cross I extended the scope of time lapse imaging for budding yeast and quantified aspects of cell cycle transitions that are invisible to population based assays. Most recently I have developed in-silico methods for gene network evolution and applied them to aspects of vertebrate morphogenesis. These methods also furnish minimal dynamic models for nontrivial patterning problems with the property that parameters can be optimized by simple gradient descent. I am collaborating with several laboratories to generate the requisite quantitative data.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 13: Physics

Secondary Section

Section 22: Cellular and Developmental Biology