Research Unit

Systems Biology and Synthetic Biology

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Michael Tyers and his team use biochemistry, genetics, chemical biology, microscopy, mass spectrometry and informatics to decipher how cellular networks are organized and controlled.

Research theme

Michael Tyers’s team implemented systematic proteomic, genetic, phenotypic and chemical-genetic screens to interrogate and manipulate network function, with a focus on the control of cell growth and division by the ubiquitin-proteasome system, in both yeast and human cell systems.

The Investigators also use biophysical, biochemical, structural and mathematical modelling methods to understand the dynamics of protein recognition within these networks.

Among other things, the group has developed a synthetic biology platform to discover natural product-like molecules as novel chemical probes and as early stage candidates for drug development leads.

Research objectives

Michael Tyers’ laboratory particularly focuses on studying the structure and control of biological interaction networks at the protein level and the genetic and chemical levels. This new knowledge aims at allowing the development of novel synthetic approaches to modify natural networks and to build entirely artificial networks that can perform new biological functions.

Thanks to recent CRISPR technology, enabling systematic interrogation of gene function in human cell lines, Michael Tyers and his team have developed, among other things, a genome-wide screen in a B lymphoma cell line. By identifying the genes essential to the growth, proliferation and survival of human cells, and by mapping the processes that control them, the research carried out by Michael Tyers’ group should result in understanding the specific mechanism of action of drugs in cancer cells and of other diseases.

Research topics

Research team