Michael Elowitz

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Michael Elowitz
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Awards MacArthur Fellows Program
Scientific career
Fields Biology
Institutions California Institute of Technology;
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Michael B. Elowitz is a biologist and professor of Biology, Bioengineering, and Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology,[1][2][3] and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.[4] 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.[5] 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,[6] 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.


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.[7]


Elowitz grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he attended the humanities magnet at Alexander Hamilton High School (Los Angeles). He studied Physics and graduated with a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992,[8] and from Princeton University with a Ph.D. in 1999.[9] In 1997-1998, he spent one year at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory at Heidelberg. Afterwards, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University in New York City.

While working as a graduate student at Princeton he co-authored songs such as Sunday at the Lab[10] with Uri Alon.


  • 2015 Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2011 HFSP Nakasone Award[11]
  • 2008 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering[12]
  • 2008 Discover Magazine "Top 20 under 40"[13]
  • 2007 MacArthur Fellows Program[14]
  • 2006 Packard Fellow[15]
  • 2004 Technology Review TR100 List of Top Innovators[16]
  • 2003 Burroughs Welcome Fund Interfaces award[17]

Peer-reviewed publications[edit]


  1. ^ "The Elowitz Lab [Caltech]". www.elowitz.caltech.edu. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 June 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Caltech Applied Physics - Not Found". www.aph.caltech.edu. 
  4. ^ "Michael B. Elowitz, PhD - HHMI.org". 
  5. ^ "Ten years of synergy". Nature. 463 (7279): 269–270. 1 January 2010. doi:10.1038/463269b. 
  6. ^ "Database of Cell Signaling and Virtual Journal - Science Signaling". stke.sciencemag.org. 
  7. ^ "Gene Circuit Dynamics in Regulation and Differentiation", Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  8. ^ Applied Physics at Caltech, retrieved 9 March 2010 
  9. ^ "Searle Scholars Program : 2007 News Archive". www.searlescholars.net. 
  10. ^ Sunday at the Lab performed by Uri Alon
  11. ^ "2011 HFSP Nakasone Award goes to Michael Elowitz - Human Frontier Science Program". www.hfsp.org. 
  12. ^ Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
  13. ^ "20 Best Brains Under 40 - DiscoverMagazine.com". 
  14. ^ http://www.macfound.org/site/c.lkLXJ8MQKrH/b.2913825/apps/nl/content2.asp?content_id={B319FBF7-A99D-48DB-9293-3CF3434EC3C2}&notoc=1
  15. ^ "Elowitz, Michael - The David and Lucile Packard Foundation". 
  16. ^ TR35 winners
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  18. ^ Li, Pulin; Markson, Joseph S.; Wang, Sheng; Chen, Siheng; Vachharajani, Vipul; Elowitz, Michael B. (2018-04-05). "Morphogen gradient reconstitution reveals Hedgehog pathway design principles". Science: eaao0645. doi:10.1126/science.aao0645. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 29622726. 
  19. ^ Bintu, Lacramioara; Yong, John; Antebi, Yaron E.; McCue, Kayla; Kazuki, Yasuhiro; Uno, Narumi; Oshimura, Mitsuo; Elowitz, Michael B. (2016-02-12). "Dynamics of epigenetic regulation at the single-cell level". Science. 351 (6274): 720–724. doi:10.1126/science.aab2956. ISSN 0036-8075. 
  20. ^ Lin, Yihan; Sohn, Chang Ho; Dalal, Chiraj K.; Cai, Long; Elowitz, Michael B. "Combinatorial gene regulation by modulation of relative pulse timing". Nature. 527: 54–58. doi:10.1038/nature15710. PMC 4870307Freely accessible. PMID 26466562. 

External links[edit]