Nathan E. Lewis | AIChE

Nathan E. Lewis

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Bioengineering
University of California, San Diego

Dr. Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. He received his BS in biochemistry at Brigham Young University, and his PhD at UC San Diego, where he focused on proteomics and developing novel approaches for analyzing biological big data using genome-scale systems biology modeling techniques. Dr. Lewis completed his postdoctoral training at the Wyss Institute at Harvard Medical School, where he worked on genome editing and the use of systems biology for the interpretation of genetic screens. Dr. Lewis' lab integrates all of his previous work by focusing heavily on the use of systems biology and genome editing techniques to map out and engineer the cell pathways controlling mammalian cell growth, protein synthesis, and protein glycosylation.


Living systems have classically been studied in-depth one gene at a time. However, each gene and protein exists and functions within complex matrices consisting of a vast array of biomolecules, ranging from small metabolites to large macromolecules. Thus, in vivo, the thousands of other unique molecules and their interactions will influence the function and evolution of each individual protein. Systems-engineering principles are now being applied to elucidate how the cellular context influences each protein and how each protein influences cellular phenotype. This can be accomplished by treating each enzyme as a component in a vast network of proteins, and then modeling their interactions, as if the system were a chemical plant or electrical circuit. We develop novel algorithms to integrate genome-scale data with these models to gain insight into how the network context influences how each protein contributes to phenotypes, such as disease. We also leverage this knowledge to guide cell engineering efforts for biotherapeutic development.

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