Michael Elowitz

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Michael Elowitz
Elowitz michael download 2.jpg
Nationality American
Fields Biology
Institutions California Institute of Technology;
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Notable awards MacArthur Fellows Program

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.


  • 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]


External links[edit]