Questions & Interests

  • What is a better use of atoms than storage or sequestration? There is much discussion on capturing and storing CO2, but why not recycle carbons (and nitrogen and phosphorus) to create new molecular entities? Controlling the flows of atoms at scale (chemically or biologically) will be valuable

  • Why are we vulnerable to supply shocks in the production of essential chemicals? For instance, a swine flu in China impacting the production of chemical precursors to blood thinners

  • Compressing the dimensionality of physiological effectors: nutrition research has proven to be immensely challenging and non-conclusive. The limiting factor in deriving conclusive findings from this field of study is the massive chemical space of food. Rather than looking for an optimal diet, instead look for the smallest subset of chemicals which produce the maximal health benefit. This challenge extends beyond nutrition, including which set of chemicals or proteins elicit anti-aging phenotypes, or the simplest chemical mixture which replicates soil conditions for agriculture

  • Overcoming the reductionist framework in biomedical research: grafting analogous reasoning from new knowledge of real-world systems onto fundamental principles of human biology. We are now capable of more than simply observing the cascade of failures in transportation grids, or the spread of disease in human networks. Traffic and disease networks share many properties with the molecular infrastructure of metabolism, and thus similar approaches should be applied to better understand living systems.

Work done to date: See FDA Drug Approvals under Projects for the current state of affairs in therapeutic complexity, and Anti-aging and Diet Mimetics project here for metabolic modeling to predict anti-aging signatures. I architected a bare-bones operation to prototype this approach and validate its idea in the broader biotech market. Scaling these methods from bacteria to mammals has proved daunting. Engineering bacteria may prove to be more effective in improving human physiology than directly modeling human metabolism.