Deciphering and utilising evolutionary principles of biological systems for understanding and engineering.

Biology is a result of evolution. This fact is at the core of research ideas pursued at OSS lab. Headed by Orkun S. Soyer, the lab aims to understand evolutionary and ecological principles that can explain the structure and dynamics of biological systems and utilise these principles in systems and synthetic biology. Within this remit, our science is driven by a desire to follow novel ideas that bridge interdisciplinary boundaries.

In our daily work, we combine mathematical and computational modeling with experimental studies of specific biological systems. We have a long standing interest to understand the evolution of structure-dynamics relation in cellular signaling and metabolic pathways. This work is now increasingly extending into analyzing the interactions of metabolic systems across species, focussing on host-parasite interactions and microbial communities. In the latter domain, we are developing model ecosystems consisting of a few interacting species. These "synthetic microbial communities" are aimed towards developing novel biotechnological, agricultural, and biomedical applications, and drawing better insights into microbial ecology. As part of this research, we work with a range of organisms from anaerobes to phototrophs and aim to develop new methods and protocols to study them.

Our research draws on a range of collaborations with experts from biology, engineering, computer science, physics, and mathematics. Within the University of Warwick, we are part of the School of Life Sciences (SLS), Warwick Centre for Integrative Synthetic Biology (WISB), and the EPSRC/BBSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology (SynBioCDT).