Credit: Matthieu Louis Lab

MCDB laboratories explore the properties that emerge from the organization and dynamics of complex biological systems through a combination of experimental approaches and theoretical modeling. Among the areas of research being actively investigated at the systems level are the nature and action of neuronal networks controlling animal behavior, gene regulatory networks that direct differentiation and cellular plasticity, concerted movements of cells in morphogenesis, mechanisms of bacterial interactions, cellular stress responses, and host-pathogen interactions. UCSB provides a unique interdisciplinary research environment for systems biology that promotes collaborations between the life, physical, and computational sciences. These include strong collaborations with faculty in the Departments of Physics, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Affiliated Faculty

Molecular mechanisms of self/non-self recognition in non-vertebrates; characterization of stem cells and development processes underlying regeneration and aging.
Faculty Graduate Advisor
Molecular genetics of plant development; analysis of abscisic acid signaling networks.
Professor Emeriti
Our research mission is to understand the molecular basis of gamete recognition and the fine tuning of one time only cellular activation events.
Assistant Professor
Neural circuit dynamics and behavior; navigation in a visual environment; neural mechanisms of object selection and decision-making.
Harriman Professor of Neuroscience
Neural plasticity including the molecular basis of plasticity, the evolution of synapses, and disease-related impairments of plasticity such as occurs in Alzheimer's disease.
Associate Professor
Combining theory and experimentation to understand how navigational decisions come about in terms of neural-circuit computation.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Cellular communication between bacteria, including mechanisms and biology of contact-dependent growth inhibition; epigenetic gene regulatory mechanisms.
Duggan Professor and
Distinguished Professor
Molecular and cellular basis of animal behavior in flies and mosquitoes.
Duggan Professor and Distinguished Professor
Combination of molecular, genetic, and state-of-the-art imaging approaches to define and solve fundamental questions in cell and developmental biology with implications for neurodegenerative disease, ischemic diseases and cancer.
Distinguished Professor
Wilcox Family Chair in Biotechnology
Director, Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program
Regulation of development and differentiation; regulation of programmed cell death and cell division; mechanisms of tumorigenesis.
Associate Professor
Genetics, Neural Circuits, and Motor sequences.
Developmental genetics and morphogenesis of the primitive chordate Ciona.
Assistant Professor
Combines tools from Biology, Engineering, and Physics to understand the cell’s perceptual field.