- Engineering of genetically encoded biosensors
- Quantitative fluorescence microscopy and image analysis
- Computational models of gene regulatory networks
- Transcriptional regulation and developmental biology of plants
The past fifteen years has seen dramatic advancements in genome sequencing and editing. The cost of sequencing a genome has decreased by two orders of magnitude, giving rise to new systems-level approaches to biology research that aim to understand life as an emerging property of all the molecular interactions in an organism. At the same time, technologies that allow site-specific modifications of the genome are enabling researchers to manipulate multicellular organisms in unprecedented ways.
From reductionist approaches to systems biology, and from conventional plant breeding to synthetic biology, the future of plant biology research relies on the adoption of computational methods to analyze experimental data and develop predictive models. In biomedicine, mathematical models are already revolutionizing drug discovery; in agriculture, they have the potential to generate more efficient, faster growing crop varieties.
The goal of the Cheung lab is to bring quantitative techniques and mathematical modeling to plants in order to gain systems-level insight into their physiology and development – particularly to understanding how metabolic and gene regulatory networks interact to control homeostasis and growth.