Michael B Elowitz is a biologist and professor of Biology, Bioengineering, and Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology, and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2007 he was the recipient of the Genius grant, better known as the MacArthur Fellows Program for the design of a synthetic gene regulatory network, the Repressilator, which helped initiate the field of synthetic biology. In addition, he showed, for the first time, how inherently random effects, or 'noise', in gene expression could be detected and quantified in living cells, leading to a growing recognition of the many roles that noise plays in living cells. His work in Synthetic Biology and Noise represent two foundations of the field of Systems Biology.
He graduated with a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992, and from Princeton University with a Ph.D. in 1999. In 1997-1998, he spent one year at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory at Heidelberg.
His laboratory studies the dynamics of genetic circuits in individual living cells using synthetic biology, time-lapse microscopy, and mathematical modeling, with a particular focus on the way in which cells make use of noise to implement behaviors that would be difficult or impossible without it. Recently, his lab has expanded their approaches beyond bacteria to include eukaryotic and mammalian cells.
Early life and education
Elowitz grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he attended the humanities magnet at Alexander Hamilton High School (Los Angeles). He studied Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, then did a PhD in Physics at Princeton University. Afterwards, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University in New York City.
- 2011 HFSP Nakasone Award 
- 2008 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering 
- 2008 Discover Magazine "Top 20 under 40" 
- 2007 MacArthur Fellows Program 
- 2006 Packard Fellow 
- 2004 Technology Review TR100 List of Top Innovators 
- 2003 Burroughs Welcome Fund Interfaces award 
- Suel, G. M.; Kulkarni, R. P.; Dworkin, J.; Garcia-Ojalvo, J.; Elowitz, M. B. (2007). "Tunability and Noise Dependence in Differentiation Dynamics". Science 315 (5819): 1716–1719. doi:10.1126/science.1137455. PMID 17379809.
- Süel, G. R. M.; Garcia-Ojalvo, J.; Liberman, L. M.; Elowitz, M. B. (2006). "An excitable gene regulatory circuit induces transient cellular differentiation". Nature 440 (7083): 545–550. doi:10.1038/nature04588. PMID 16554821.
- Sprinzak, D.; Elowitz, M. B. (2005). "Reconstruction of genetic circuits". Nature 438 (7067): 443–448. doi:10.1038/nature04335. PMID 16306982.
- Rosenfeld, N.; Young, J. W.; Alon, U.; Swain, P. S.; Elowitz, M. B. (2005). "Gene Regulation at the Single-Cell Level". Science 307 (5717): 1962–1965. doi:10.1126/science.1106914. PMID 15790856.
- Elowitz, M. B.; Levine, A. J.; Siggia, E. D.; Swain, P. S. (2002). "Stochastic Gene Expression in a Single Cell". Science 297 (5584): 1183–1186. doi:10.1126/science.1070919. PMID 12183631.
- Guet, C. A. ;L. C.; Elowitz, M. B.; Hsing, W.; Leibler, S. (2002). "Combinatorial Synthesis of Genetic Networks". Science 296 (5572): 1466–1470. doi:10.1126/science.1067407. PMID 12029133.
- Elowitz, M. B.; Leibler, S. (2000). "A synthetic oscillatory network of transcriptional regulators". Nature 403 (6767): 335–338. doi:10.1038/35002125. PMID 10659856.
- Rosenfeld, N.; Elowitz, M. B.; Alon, U. (2002). "Negative autoregulation speeds the response times of transcription networks". Journal of Molecular Biology 323 (5): 785–793. doi:10.1016/S0022-2836(02)00994-4. PMID 12417193.
- Elowitz, M. B.; Surette, M. G.; Wolf, P. E.; Stock, J.; Leibler, S. (1997). "Photoactivation turns green fluorescent protein red". Current biology : CB 7 (10): 809–812. doi:10.1016/S0960-9822(06)00342-3. PMID 9368766.
- Levine, J. H.; Fontes, M. E.; Dworkin, J.; Elowitz, M. B. (2012). "Pulsed Feedback Defers Cellular Differentiation". In Laub, Michael. PLoS Biology 10 (1): e1001252. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001252. PMC 3269414. PMID 22303282.
- Locke, J. C. W.; Young, J. W.; Fontes, M.; Jimenez, M. J. H.; Elowitz, M. B. (2011). "Stochastic Pulse Regulation in Bacterial Stress Response". Science 334 (6054): 366–369. doi:10.1126/science.1208144. PMID 21979936.
- Applied Physics at Cal Tech, retrieved 9 March 2010
- "Gene Circuit Dynamics in Regulation and Differentiation", Howard Hughes Medical Institute
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhncg6GXYq8 Sunday at the Lab performed by Uri Alon