Alexander van Oudenaarden
Professor of physics and biology; director, MIT Center for Single-Cell Dynamics in Cancer
areas of expertise: physics, biology, biophysics, biological and medical physics, biomaterials, network modules for switches, oscillators and spatial sensors, biology
Alexander van Oudenaarden is a professor of physics and biology at MIT. van Oudenaarden’s research focuses on how single cells use gene and protein networks to accurately process intra- and extracellular signals. His laboratory made pioneering contributions to understanding stochastic gene expression and systems biology at the single-cell level.
The current efforts in the van Oudenaarden group are focused on an integrated theoretical and experimental approach to understanding the role of stochastic gene expression during development and differentiation. His PhD research in the field of experimental solid-state physics was performed at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in 1998 (with highest honors) and received the Andries Miedema Award for best PhD research in the field of condensed-matter physics in the Netherlands.
From 1998 to 1999, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, collaborating with Dr. Steven Boxer and Dr. Julie Theriot. He joined the MIT faculty in January 2000. In 2001, he was named an Alfred Sloan Research Fellow and a Keck Career Development Professor in Biomedical Engineering, and he received the NSF CAREER award. van Oudenaarden was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2004.
Since 2001, he has been teaching a graduate-level course in systems biology at MIT, for which he received the MIT School of Science Prize for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 2007. In 2008, van Oudenaarden was promoted to full professor and received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. He is the director of the NIH/NCI-funded Physical Sciences–Oncology center at MIT.
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