Murat Acar received his B.S. degree in Physics from Bogazici University in 2000, and his Ph.D. degree in Physics from MIT in 2007. As a graduate student working with Alexander van Oudenaarden at MIT, he studied feedback regulation and genetic noise in gene networks. After his doctoral studies, Murat moved to CalTech as a CBCD Fellow and completed his postdoctoral studies in Frances Arnold’s laboratory. Using budding yeast as a model organism, he studied dosage compensation in genetic circuits. Murat joined Yale’s Department of Molecular Cellular & Developmental Biology as an Assistant Professor in 2012; he is also a faculty member at the Yale Physics Department and a core member of the Yale Systems Biology Institute. Among the awards and honors Murat has received are a 2014 New Innovator Award by the NIH and a 2013 New Scholar in Aging Award by the Ellison Medical Foundation.
Research: Using yeast as a model, we study the genetic and phenotypic changes cells implement and experience during the processes of cellular aging and gene network evolution. Our work combines experimental, theoretical, and computational approaches to investigate general design principles that help gene networks robustly function in different genetic backgrounds and environmental conditions. Aiming to gain novel insights into the regulation of cellular aging, we apply time-dynamical single-cell imaging techniques and novel microfluidic platforms to the study of this complex phenotype.