Professor of Physics and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

Areas of Research: Biophysics, Quantitative approaches to systems and developmental biology.
  • Physics and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics
Research Lab
Curriculum Vitae
122 Jadwin Hall

Faculty Assistant:
Susan Sabatura

Research Focus


My group studies the basic physical principles that govern the existence of multicellular life. A core focus of the lab is to understand biological development–the complex process through which an organism grows from a single cell into a differentiated, multicellular organism–from a physics perspective. As such, we formulate and experimentally validate quantitative models that describe how individual cells interact and organize in order to generate complex life forms.

Our main interests lie in:

  • multicellular pattern formation
  • transcriptional regulation in the context of development
  • molecular limits to biochemical sensing
  • emergence of collective behaviors in multicellular systems.

Our main tools consist in:

  • live and super-resolution microscopy
  • genome editing and genetics
  • image analysis and quantitative modeling
  • instrument design and development.

We are looking for Ph.D. and postdoc candidates with interests in the broader fields of biophysics and/or cell and developmental biology. In particular, physicists or engineers with expertise in a subset of nonlinear and ultrafast optics, super-resolution imaging, instrumentation (design and implementation), photomanipulation, optogenetics, advanced image analysis, statistics, live imaging of stem cells, tissues, or embryos; biologists or computer scientists with expertise in a subset of insect or mammalian development, gene regulation and epigenetics, cloning and transfection, genetics, live imaging.

Specific topics (in progress…):

  • precision and reproducibility in early mammalian development
  • size control in insect development
  • super-resolution imaging of subnuclear structures
  • optogenetic pathway activation
  • information transmission in developmental pathways

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are a potentially interested undergraduate student, graduate student, postdoc, or collaborator. For more information please visit my laboratory's homepage.

Selected Publications

  • Petkova MD, Tkačik G, Bialek W, Wieschaus EF, Gregor T, Optimal Decoding of Cellular Identities in a Genetic Network, Cell 2019 Feb 7;176(4):844-855.e15. Pubmed
  • Zoller B, Little SC, Gregor T, Diverse Spatial Expression Patterns Emerge from Unified Kinetics of Transcriptional Bursting, Cell 2018 Oct;175(3):835-847.e25. Pubmed
  • Chen H, Levo M, Barinov L, Fujioka M, Jaynes JB, Gregor T, Dynamic interplay between enhancer-promoter topology and gene activity, Nat. Genet. 2018 Sep;50(9):1296-1303. Pubmed
  • Gregor T, Garcia HG, Little SC. (2014) The embryo as a laboratory: quantifying transcription in Drosophila. Trends Genet. 30: 364-75. Pubmed

View complete list of Publications.