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SynthSys - Systems and Synthethic Biology
CH Waddington Building
Max Born Crescent
Edinburgh EH9 3BF
Andrew Millar grew up in Luxembourg and studied Genetics at Cambridge University. He began working on biological rhythms in 1988 during his Ph.D. with Nam-Hai Chua at The Rockefeller University. After postdoctoral research with Steve Kay and Gene Block at the NSF Center for Biological Timing in Virginia, he joined University of Warwick in 1996. He collaborated with Matthew Turner and David Rand on modelling the clock, starting his interest in Systems and Synthetic Biology. After joining the University of Edinburgh in 2005, he was the co-founder of SynthSys in 2007 and PI of its BBSRC/EPSRC award. Serving as PI (2004-2009) for GARNet, which represents the 200 laboratories of the UK‘s Arabidopsis research community, he gained a keen interest in research management and leadership. Andrew was recently elected an EMBO member, FRS and FRSE.
The biological clock generates 24-hour rhythms that synchronise many biological processes with day and night, from the cell cycle to the sleep-wake cycle. The circuit of interconnected clock genes has become one of the paradigms for understanding dynamic biological regulation. Andrew Millar’s laboratory uses experimental and theoretical approaches to understand its principles, mechanisms and the physiological importance of daily and seasonal timing. The Framework Model (Chew et al., PNAS 2014) that predicts Arabidopsis growth and flowering time is one output from our Systems Biology projects (EU FP7 TiMet; BBSRC/EPSRC ROBuST, led by Karen Halliday). We also study a non-transcriptional clock in the alga Ostreococcus tauri, which might be shared in all domains of life (O’Neill et al., Nature 2011; van Ooijen et al., Curr. Biol. 2012; Edgar et al., Nature 2012).