The major research interest for the J-Lab is a study of bacterial and archaeal genomes as information systems that determine the physiological states of an organism. The larger goal is to model the dynamics of information evolution and exchange in prokaryotes, and to derive the theory base to explain the origin, evolution and function of genes and chromosomes. Our goal is to discover and model gene-specific and genome-specific information that defines metabolic properties and physiological behavior of prokaryotes in adaptive response to their environment(s). This research probes the limits of coding space, protein mobility, and variation space, and seeks to understand the physiological consequences of such limits.
This work utilizes experimental methods for genetic, molecular biological, biochemical and microbiological studies in combination with mathematical and computational methods for modeling and simulating the function of natural systems.
An educational focus of major interest to me is the integration of mathematics into the study of biology at the undergraduate and graduate level. My teaching approach is to prepare students to view organisms and their environments as biological systems, to ask critical questions about how these systems work and interact, and to design experiments that yield quantitative assessments of systems behavior that will lead to construction of mathematical models for simulation.