Environmental Systems Biology

Victor de Lorenzo

Unlike Laboratory settings, in which growth conditions can be controlled and changed one at a time, bacteria in the Environment must perpetually make transcriptional decisions between activating metabolic genes for available, frequently mixed C-sources and those for escaping or adapting to physico-chemical stress. Our research is committed to the development of novel strategies for construction of soil microorganisms (mostly Pseudomonads) destined for the environment or as catalysis for selected biotransformations. To this end we employ Systems and Synthetic Biology as a source of new tools for addresing some outstanding environmental pollution problems.

Logic of Genomic Systems

Juan Poyatos

Cells exhibit a wide range of dynamical behaviours which allow them to interpret their environment and to function as social organisms. We are interested in understanding these behaviours by combining two approaches. First, we study how genetic circuits regulate function in a mechanistic way. To this aim, we apply quantitative modelling and experiments in both natural and synthetic systems. We then complement this approach with evolutionary studies in order to understand why particular circuit functions and structures have been selected. This we extend to the analysis of the structure of the genome, the material where genetic circuits and networks are encoded

Computational Systems Biology

Florencio Pazos

The biological functions of many proteins can only be explained in the context of their relationshipts with others. The study of living systems from a network perspective is providing new biological knowledge which could have never been obtained from the study of the individual components (genes, proteins, ...) no matter how detailed it is. Our group is interesting in finding this biological knowledge "hidden" in the complex network of relationships between biological elements. We study biological networks (specially protein interactions networks and metabolic networks) from this approach. We are also very interested in approaching the complex phenomenon of "protein function" from a systemic perspective.

Microbial Community Modelling

Javier Tamames

The main motivation of our research is the study of the rules structuring natural bacterial communities, in order to be able to replicate these communities in artificial environments or even create new, ad-hoc synthetic communities. We explore the patterns of interactions (mainly metabolic) between species to predict the ability of different species to form a consortium and to determine the possible capabilities of such an assemblage. We use computational models of the bacterial metabolism to address these issues, and plan to extend our activities to an experimental setting as well.

We also have a special interest in studying metagenomic samples, to relate the functional profiles of microbia with the different environmental conditions, thus obtaining information on the mechanisms of adaptation of bacteria to different habitats.

Systems Biology Program @CNB-CSIC

c/ Darwin, 3 - 28049 Madrid - Spain