Heads of Laboratories
Gladys T. Perkin Professor
Laboratory of Living Matter
Even the simplest of organisms, such as bacteria, are capable of processing information in a highly sophisticated manner, adapting to varying environments and evolving new functions. Leibler is interested in the quantitative description of microbial systems, both on cellular and population levels.
In recent years, the field of molecular biology has moved away from the study of individual components and toward the study of how these components interact—a systemic approach that seeks an appropriate and quantitative description of cells and organisms. Leibler’s laboratory is developing both theoretical and experimental methods to conduct studies on the collective behavior of biomolecules, cells, and organisms. In selecting a number of basic questions about how simple genetic and biochemical networks function in bacteria, his lab is beginning to understand how individual components can give rise to complex, collective phenomena.
Recent research topics in the laboratory include quantitative studies of interacting microorganisms. In particular, the question of how microbial populations survive in varying environments is being addressed both experimentally and theoretically. Leibler and his collaborators are developing new experimental techniques that will facilitate the quantitative analysis of long-time population dynamics in microbial populations. They are using statistical methods to analyze the long-term dynamics of closed microbial ecosystems, while applying theoretical approaches to other problems such as protein assemblies or the evolution of protein families.
Ph.D. in theoretical physics, 1981
Ph.D. in physics, 1984
University of Paris
Cornell University, 1985–1987
Research Fellow with Tenure, 1984–1992
Centre d’Études de Saclay
The Rockefeller University
Tri-Institutional Professor, 2003–2010
Weill Cornell Medical College and the Sloan-Kettering Institute
Institute for Advanced Study
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
National Academy of Sciences
Jordan, D. et al. Behavioral diversity in microbes and low dimensional phenotypic spaces. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110, 14018–14023 (2013).
Wakamoto, Y. et al. Dynamic persistence of antibiotic-stressed mycobacteria. Science 339, 91–95 (2013).
Hekstra, D.R. and Leibler, S. Contingency and statistical laws in replicate microbial closed ecosystems. Cell 149, 1164–1173 (2012).
Murugan, A. et al. Speed, dissipation, and error in kinetic proofreading. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 109, 12034–12039 (2012).
Rivoire, O. and Leibler, S. The value of information for populations in varying environments. J. Stat. Phys. 142, 1124–1166 (2011).
Dr. Leibler is a faculty member in the David Rockefeller Graduate Program, the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program, and the Tri-Institutional Ph.D. Program in Chemical Biology.