Cells use networks of interacting molecules to process information, make memories, and execute computations. We are broadly interested in the design and function of these cellular regulatory systems. To examine them, we primarily develop synthetic biology approaches, which allow us to construct artificial versions of these regulatory systems from components “parts” and systematically explore their functional properties. This engineering approach offers a unique way to explore how cellular systems can balance (seemingly paradoxical) functional properties – e.g. specific computation, functional robustness, and adaptability – in order to learn about their evolutionary design, understand their role in development and disease, and guide the engineering of cells with sophisticated functions for practical application. On a translational level, we are applying our synthetic biology technologies to address unmet biomedical needs. This includes creating gene expression control schemes for next-generation gene and cell therapy, and new cell-based models and screening platforms for neurodegenerative disease. In parallel to our synthetic biology efforts, we invent high-throughput technologies / devices and use quantitative systems approaches to help us experimentally interrogate both short-term adaptation and long-term adaptive evolution in microbial systems.