The LRC would like to thank our generous sponsors
The John Templeton Foundation
The Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation
The Richard Lounsbery Foundation
The National Science Foundation
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Biophysics)
Work at the LRC covers a wide range of topics, from examining complexity in Biology to the quantum-like dynamics of cognition, computational chemistry, climate systems and financial markets. The ICS program is highlighted below. Please refer to papers published by individual researchers for more information and highlights.
Program in Information, Complexity and Synthetic Biology (ICS)
The highly successful ICS program was initiated in 2017-18 at the LRC, and has rapidly become one of the focal areas of research for LRC scientists. Individual program components have been funded by various agencies.
Origins of Biological Complexity
How did biological systems become complex in the first place? Why do some cells/systems, like in prokaryotes, remain essentially simple? Why does evolution come up with different solutions even when the underlying genetic information is conserved? Researchers at the LRC are trying to answer these questions by uniquely examining the intersection of evolutionary and physical processes through computational and experimental means. Their current focus is on protein-protein interactions, which essentially underpin nearly all biophysical and biochemical aspects of biological systems.
Life as Information
When it comes to storing information in a cell, DNA/RNA are far from the complete story; in fact, a cell is teeming with information that is reflected in its choice of structurally relevant molecules, the organization of its ultrastructure, gradients, processes, flows and a variety of other components. Information is also gained as cells differentiate and organize into higher order structures such as tissues and organs. LRC scientists aim to study the information content of cells and higher-order structures, and also plan to explore the evolution of read-write systems, with the exciting possibility of engineering and rewiring such systems.
SymBioNet is an international consortium of researchers interested in rapidly moving the field of Symbiosis forward. The consortium is organized as a "network-of-networks", with prominent labs serving as nodes to facilitate further in-country and local interactions. Read more >
Boundaries of Life
The Boundaries of Life (BoL) Initiative seeks to uncover highly divergent forms of life on earth and in doing so to advance microbiology and fundamental unanswered questions in biology, including:
What are the fundamental parameters and bounds of life?
Has life originated more than once?
How likely is life to exist elsewhere in the universe?
The BoL team brings together a group of physicists and biologists from Stanford University, California Institute of Technology and Global Viral/LRC with expertise in specimen collection, development of assays for studying microscopic life, and the fundamental study of the chemistry and physics of microbial-scale life. The project’s primary objectives are to chart the currently unmapped diversity of nucleic acid-based life and to develop and deploy assays for the detection of shadow life in a range of specimens from Earth.
Phase I End Date : August, 2017
Phase IIA End Date: September 2020
Phase IIB End Date: March 2022
Extended Phase IIB End Date: March 2023
Participating institutions (& PIs):
LRC: PI- Shailesh Date
Stanford University: PI- Steve Quake
Caltech: PIs- Grant Jensen, Rob Phillips
Collaborators: Joint Genome Institute & NASA/JPL.
PROJECTS UNDER DEVELOPMENT
A number of funded projects are currently under development at the LRC, in areas such as Cognition and AI, Computational Chemistry, Pediatric Health and Information Discovery.
We are proud of our past accomplishments as part of our legacy programs. Please drop us a note if you would like to know more, and we will get back to you.
As always, we are thankful to our past collaborators, advisors and well-wishers for helping us get where we are today!