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Davi Ortega, Ph.D.

International Fellow

Laboratory for Research in Complex Systems


Caltech (Postdoctoral Scholar)

University of Tennessee-Knoxville (Ph.D., Physics)

Universidade Estadual de Campinas (B.S., Physics)

What's your background?

I'm a physicist by training, spending over 5 years doing research on optical atomic clocks before switching to computational biology. I received my PhD from the University of Tennessee - Oak Ridge National Laboratory studying computational approaches to problems in bacterial chemotaxis. I then went on to complete my postdoc at Caltech studying the evolution of complex signaling networks and innovative approaches in data sharing using blockchain technology.

What's your role at LRC?

I am an International Fellow with LRC and Caltech where I continue to approach new challenges in the theme of my postdoctoral research.

What trend, breakthrough or discovery are you most excited about?

There are several actually. In my Ph.D., I proposed a molecular mechanism for the activation of the processing unit of the bacterial chemosensory system by chemoreceptors. In my postdoctoral work I demonstrate how gut bacteria learned to control their flagellar motor, a breakthrough that suggests that the chemosensory machinery in bacteria might be a flexible control system that can be engineered to control various cellular functions. In addition, I lead the team that designed the first in-production scientific database on the blockchain: the Electron Tomography Database. Finally, as a developer of tools and resources for biologists such as GeneHood ( - a tool to facilitate the analysis of gene clusters and the Microbial Signal Transduction Database (

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