Anticipators and Procrastinators: Cellular Decision Making in Multivariate Environments

Monday, November 16, 2015 - 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Keller 3-180
Hana El-Samad (University of California, San Francisco)
Understanding how cellular programs process multiple simultaneous environmental inputs is a century old problem. A classical example is that of the Monod Model, in which microorganisms that are presented with two carbon sources first consume the carbon substrate that supports the highest growth rate and then switch to the secondary carbon source. Sequential sugar utilization is attributed to transcriptional repression of the secondary metabolic pathway, followed by activation of this pathway upon depletion of the preferred carbon source. In this talk, we revisit this problem and present an interesting new twist to this classical dogma. We also discuss how progress in this project required us to formulate and study a new mathematical problem related to genomic profiling.