Dissertation Defense

I passed my dissertation defense! My presentation is here. It starts with the importance of biological solutions to increasing energy needs. Then dives into how these biological energy solutions depend on accurate control of protein expression. I covered important background topics including noise in protein expression, gene expression bursting, resource sharing, cell-free protein expression, microfluidics, and artificial vesicles. Finally, the purpose of my dissertation is to investigate how gene expression bursting and variation is affected by expression resources being shared among genes. I specifically answer:

  1. How are gene expression characteristics altered by the size of resource pools?

  2. Can membrane permeability be tuned to enhance gene expression?

  3. How are the dynamics of gene expression affected by resource transport across permeabilized membranes?

My parents and grandmother were there to support me. Afterward we celebrated with dinner at J.C. Holdway in downtown Knoxville.