RESEARCH INTERESTS CONTACT NEWS

Design principles of biological circuits
Cells are constantly "making decisions" - monitoring their environment, modulating their metabolism and 'deciding' whether to divide, differentiate or die. For this, they use biochemical circuits composed of interacting genes and proteins. Advances over the past decades have mapped many of these circuits. Still, can we infer the underlying logic from the detailed circuit structure? Can we deduce the selection forces that shaped these circuits during evolution? What are the principles that govern the design and function of these circuits and how similar or different are they from principles that guide the design of man-made machines? The interplay between variability and robustness is a hallmark of biological computation: Biological systems are inherently noisy, yet control their behavior precisely. Research projects in our lab quantify biological variability and identify its genetic origins, examine how variability is buffered by molecular circuits and investigate whether variability can in fact be employed to improve cellular computation. We encourage a multi-disciplinary approach, combining wet-lab experiments, dynamic-system theory and computational data analysis. This is achieved through fruitful interactions between students with backgrounds in physics, biology, computer science, mathematics and chemistry.


Email:
naama.barkai@weizmann.ac.il

Phone:
+972-8-934-4429
Fax:
+972-8-934-4108

Address:
Meyer bulding 404
Weizmann Institute of Science
Rehovot 76100
Israel.

August 2016
We are sad to say goodbye to Ariel Gispan, who finished his PhD in the lab. Good luck Ariel!


August 2016
We welcome back to the lab Sagie, Yulia, and Offir - starting their M.Sc! Good luck!


May 2016
We welcome back to the lab Michal Chapal, who is starting her PhD! Good luck Michal!



May 2016
The lab congratulates Raz and Yoav for their recent publication in Genome Research!

April 2016
We went to visit David after his departure from the lab in his new workplace. Good luck David!



April 2016
The Stress Team wishes you a great week!



March 2016
We just celebrated Purim in our lab with the traditional exchange of mishloach manot! Happy Holiday!



February 2016
We would like to welcome our two new PhD students - Nelly and Gat! Good luck!


February 2016
The lab congratulates Yoav and Raz for their recent publication in Science!


January 2016
Congratulations to Karin Mittelman for finishing her PhD Studies! From now, Dr. Mittelman!


December 2015
The lab congratulates Zvika for his recent publication in Cell Reports!


December 2015
We welcome Felix Jonas, our new postdoc! Good luck Felix!


December 2015
The lab congratulates Moshe and Eyal for their recent publication in Cell Reports!


November 2015
We welcome Rom and Yulia, our new rotation students! Good luck!


December 2015
The lab congratulates Shay for his recent publication in Plant Cell!


August 2014
We invite to register to Two2Many, the Students-organized Systems Biology conference in March 2015!


August 2014
We welcome Amir Maimon and David Lerner to the lab! Good luck with your MSc!


June 2014
The lab wishes good luck to Noam Vardi in his post-doc!


May 2014
Congratulations to Zvika, Noam and Eyal on graduating! Here's a picture from the ceremony (May 15th 2014):



May 2014
Congratulations to Inna and Danny for their amazing new paper in Development on scaling morphogen gradients during tissue growth


February 2014
Congratulations to Eyal and Yossi for handing in their M.Sc Thesis



February 2014
The Barkai Lab had a great time in Ilanit FISEB 2014! In one of the nights we went bowling...



January 2014
Congratulations to Noam Vardi on finishing his PhD! From now on - Dr. Vardi! You can read his paper from Current Biology on how yeast cells escape commitment using noise here .


January 2014
Congratulations to Zvika Tamari on finishing his PhD! Dr. Tamari!


January 2014
The Barkai lab would like to wish Mazal Tov to Noam Ohana on finishing his MSc and good luck in his future endeavors!


December 2013
Barkai lab wishes you happy holidays!


October 2013
Congratulations to the lab Vollyaball team on winning in the latest departmental tournament!


October 2013
On November the lab is going on a lab trip, to mark the departure of Ilya from the lab


October 2013
Congratulations to Noam V on his new paper in Current Biology!


September 2013
Next month Gilad will give a talk in the departmental seminar!


September 2013
The Barkai Lab wishes you a happy holiday!


August 2013
We would like to welcome Gilad Yaakov to the Barkai Lab!


August 2013
The Barkai Lab wishes good luck to Dana and Michal, our new M.Sc students!
FEATURED ARTICLE
Coupling phenotypic persistence to DNA damage increases genetic diversity in severe stress
Gilad Yaakov*, David Lerner*, Kajetan Bentele*, Joseph Steinberger & Naama Barkai
Nature Ecology & Evolution(2017)

Mutation rate balances the need to protect genome integrity with the advantage of evolutionary innovations. Microorganisms increase their mutation rate when stressed, perhaps addressing the growing need for evolutionary innovation. Such a strategy, however, is only beneficial under moderate stresses that allow cells to divide and realize their mutagenic potential. In contrast, severe stresses rapidly kill the majority of the population with the exception of a small minority of cells that are in a phenotypically distinct state termed persistence. Although persisters were discovered many decades ago, the stochastic event triggering persistence is poorly understood. We report that spontaneous DNA damage triggers persistence in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by activating the general stress response, providing protection against a range of harsh stress and drug environments... ....Read more...


Departments of Molecular Genetics and Physics of Complex Systems