Cells process information about the external world through networks of proteins and small molecules that we call the signal transduction machinery. These systems can display high-performance functional properties that seem precisely matched for their specific biological roles. The central goal of our laboratory is to understand the principles underlying the evolutionary design of these information processing systems.
We work on this problem at two spatial scales. At the atomic level, we work on understanding the functional architecture of proteins using a variety of computational and experimental methods. At the cellular scale, we are attempting to understand a network of signaling reactions that underlies vision in invertebrate photoreceptors. Ultimately, we hope that these studies lead to models for how these seemingly complex systems are possible and remain adaptive through the process of evolution.