Faculty Profiles

Bernhard O. Palsson

Professor, Bioengineering

Reconstruction of genetic circuits and genome-scale models of complex cellular processes.

Professor Palsson's Genetic Circuits Research Group focuses on systemic analysis of the multigeneic processes that control cellular functions. Palsson's group views the coordinated action of multiple gene products as a network or a so-called genetic circuit. His current research efforts focus on genetic circuits involving metabolism and gene regulation. Metabolism is the "chemical engine" that drives the living process. Together, the enzymes used in metabolism produce all of the major constituents of the cell. Combining powerful systems science analysis techniques with the tools of bioinformatics, the group has developed methods that use the metabolic genotype of an organism to analyze, interpret, and predict its metabolic phenotype under particular conditions. Palsson has developed In silico models for the human red blood cell, E.coli, H.influenza, H.pylori, and S.cerevisae. Using these in silico strains he can study variations in the genotype and shifts in metabolic routing resulting from changing growth conditions, adaptive evolution or genetic deletions.

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Bernhard Palsson is the Galletti Professor of Bioengineering, the Principal Investigator of the Systems Biology Research Group in the Department of Bioengineering, and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.  He is also the CEO of the Novo Nordisk Center for Biosustainability in Denmark, working in this capacity since 2011. Dr. Palsson has co-authored more than 420 peer-reviewed research articles and has authored four textbooks. His research includes the development of methods to analyze metabolic dynamics (flux-balance analysis, and modal analysis), and the formulation of complete models of selected cells (the red blood cell, E. coli, CHO cells, and several human pathogens). He sits on the editorial broad of several leading peer-reviewed microbiology, bioengineering, and biotechnology journals. He previously held a faculty position at the University of Michigan for 11 years and was named the G.G. Brown Associate Professor at Michigan in 1989, a Fulbright fellow in 1995, and an Ib Henriksen Fellow in 1996. He is the author of over 40 U.S. patents, the co-founder of several biotechnology companies, and holds several major biotechnology awards. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Palsson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a Fellow of the AIMBE, AAAS, and the AAM.

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