Zhengda Li

Zhengda Li

Advisors

Areas of Interest

My current research is to understand the mechanisms of biological oscillators from computational modeling and biological examples. For the computational project, we are trying to find reliable circuit designs that can make clocks to function robustly against parameter perturbations. Previous computational work suggested the importance of a positive feedback loop to the robustness of positive-plus-negative oscillators. Recent experimental research suggested the possible role of different motifs. We systematically analyzed all two-edge topological modifications on oscillatory topologies for robustness. We identified a novel motif, incoherent input nodes, to be the most crucial structure for network robustness, which aligns well with biological examples. For experimental project, we are trying to investigate the relationship between cell cycle and segmentation clock. We have constructed fluorescent sensors for both clocks and developed reliable image processing algorithms to collect single cell data. We hope to identify the biological mechanisms of this process and provide general ideas about how different clocks synchronize with each other in biological systems.

Credentials

  • B.S., Beijing University (Biology)