Fellow, Institute and Department for Genetics and Genomic Sciences
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Jonathan Karr is a Fellow at the Institute for Genomics & Multiscale Biology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. His research focuses on developing whole-cell models of individual bacterial and human cells, and their applications to medicine and bioengineering. Recently, he and his colleagues demonstrated the first whole-cell model of the reduced bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium and showed that whole-cell models can be used to gain insights into cellular behavior, engineer cells, and reposition drugs. To enable whole-cell models, Dr. Karr's group also focuses on developing new methods for constructing, simulating, and analyzing large-scale cellular simulations. Dr. Karr earned his PhD in biophysics from Stanford University and his BSs in physics and neuroscience from MIT.
Toward whole-cell models for science and engineering
A central challenge in biology is to understand how phenotype arises from genotype. Despite decades of research, a complete understanding of biology remains elusive. Computational techniques are needed to create a unified understanding. Recently, we developed the first comprehensive whole-cell computational model which accounts for the specific function of every annotated gene product and predicts the dynamics of every molecular species over the entire cell cycle. We validated our model by comparing its predictions to a wide range of experimental data. We have used the model to gain new insights into cell cycle regulation and energy usage. We believe that whole-cell models will accelerate bioengineering and medicine by enabling rapid, low cost in silico experimentation, facilitating experimental design and interpretation, and ultimately guiding rational biological design.
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