Jeff Gore (cvgoogle scholarpersonal site)
Assistant Professor, Department of Physics
PhD Physics, UC Berkeley (2005)
BS Physics, Mathematics, Economics, & Electrical Eng @ MIT
Office:  NE46-609 (map)
Phone:  617-715-4251Lab:  617-324-7861
Jeff's research interests have ranged widely, from the current focus on ecological dynamics to his single-molecule research in graduate school with the Bustamante laboratory. Before starting his own lab, Jeff was a Pappalardo Fellow in the Physics Department at MIT working with the van Oudenaarden laboratory studying cooperation and cheating in yeast.
Jeff's honors include an NIH New Innovator AwardNIH K99/R00 Pathways to Independence Award, and an NSF CAREER Award. In addition, Jeff is a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical SciencesSloan Research Fellow, and an Allen Distinguished Investigator. He has also been recognized at MIT for his efforts in teaching and mentoring; in 2011 he was chosen as the MIT-wide undergraduate research (UROP) mentor of the year and in 2013 he received the Buechner Teaching Award from the Physics Dept.

Graduate Students
Eugene Yurtsev (google scholar)NSF Graduate Fellow
(2009 start)Physics Graduate Student
BS Physics, UC Santa Barbara
eyurtsev at
Office:  NE46-629 

Eugene received his B.S. in physics from the College of Creative Studies of the University of California, Santa Barbara. His undergraduate research was with the Hansma group on the research and development of the Bone Diagnostic Instrument and the Tissue Diagnostic Instrument. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, to hike and to drink tea. In the Gore Lab, Eugene demonstrated that in the context of antibiotic resistance sensitive "cheater" cells can take advantage of resistant "cooperators" (Yurtsev, Chao, et al, Molecular Systems Biology (2013))
Tanya Artemova
Physics Graduate Student (2009 start)
BS Physics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
artemova at
Office: NE46-629
 Tanya is determining how the cooperative growth dynamics of bacteria in antibiotics influences the conditions that favor the emergence of antibiotic resistance. She has found that the traditional metric for resistance (the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) may not be appropriate for beta-lactam antibiotics, where the antibiotic is cooperatively inactivated. Instead, the resistance of an isolated cell predicts the evolution of increased resistance (Artemova et al, submitted).
Department of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gore Laboratory
Department of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Physics of Living Systems Group
400 Technology Square, NE46-602
Cambridge, MA 02139
David Healey
NSF Graduate Fellow
Biology PhD student 
BS Biochemistry, Brigham Young University 
david.w.healey at
Office: NE46-629
David has demonstrated that stochastic gene expression allows microbes to implement a mixed game strategy.
Physics of Living Systems @MIT

Past Members

  • Kirill Korolev (2010 - 2013) is now an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at Boston University. As a Pappalardo Postdoctoral Fellow, he collaborated with us on a number of projects probing the spatial dynamics of populations.

Graduate Students 
  • Lei Dai is now studying viral fitness landscapes with Jamie Lloyd-Smith at UCLA. Lei's work with us focused on the experimental measurement of early warning indicators before catastrophic population collapse. In his first paper with us, he used laboratory yeast populations to demonstrate an increase in the size and timescale of population fluctuations before collapse (Dai et al, Science (2012)). He next demonstrated that before collapse of spatially extended populations there is an increase in "recovery length" at the boundary between regions of different environmental quality (Dai et al, Nature (2013)). For this work Lei received the APS Division of Biological Physics Thesis Prize in 2014. 
  • Daan Vorselen (2010) was a visiting Masters students from the Netherlands.  He spent eight months with us studying early warning signals of approaching population collapse together with Lei. For his contribution, he was co-first-author on our paper published in Science. He is currently a PhD student at the VU University in The Netherlands working with Gijs Wuite.

Undergraduate Researchers 

  • Hui Xiao "Sherry" Chao (2009 - 2012) studied cooperation and cheating in the context of antibiotic resistance (Yurtsev*, Chao*, et al, Molecular Systems Biology (2013)), and is about to start as an MD/PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill.
  • Andrew Chen (2012 - 2013) was an undergraduate researcher in the group studying the dynamics of a producer-parasite population before collapse (Chen*, Sanchez*, et al, submitted)
  • Ivana Cvijovic (2011) was an undegraduate summer research student working on range expansions, and is now a graduate student in the Harvard Systems Biology PhD program (our fourth such student!).
  • Carmel Dudley (2011 - 2012) explored the evolutionary consequences of the fact that bacteria often collectively grow in antibiotics.
  • Ylaine Gerardin (2010) studied the conditions that favor the evolution of antibiotic resistance, and is now a graduate student in the Harvard Systems Biology PhD program working with Roy Kishony and Mike Springer.
  • Teresa Krieger (2011) was part of the MIT-Cambridge Exchange Program. She worked with us probing the behavior of populations at the edge of collapse, and is now in the Physics PhD Program at Oxford. 
  • Sophia Li (2011 - 2012) explored conditions in which bacterial strains could survive multi-drug treatments via a mutualism. She is now at Princeton with the Quantitative Biology PhD Program. 
  • Stephen Serene (2009 - 2010) worked with us as a sophomore collaborating with Longzhi Tan in a study quantifying the reversibility of evolution on a rugged fitness landscape (Tan*, Serene*, Chao, and Gore, Physical Review Letters (2011)). He then did computational neuroscience with Sebastian Seung before going to Rockefeller for his PhD.
  • Mashaal Sohail (2011) worked with Hasan Celiker probing how competition between species can favor cooperation within a species. She is now a graduate student in the Harvard Systems Biology Program.
  • Longzhi Tan (2009 - 2011) quantified  the reversibility of evolution during adaptation to antibiotics (Tan et al, Phys Rev Lett (2011)). He also  demonstrated computationally that slowly switching between environments increases the reversibility of evolution (Tan et al, Evolution (2012)). He is now working with Sunney Xie as a graduate student in the Harvard Systems Biology Departement.

Rotation students and short term visitors 
  • James Damore (2010 - 2011) was a research scientist in our group for a year between his undergraduate degree and starting in the Harvard Systems Biology PhD Program. He demonstrated that host-symbiont co-evolution can be viewed as the implementation of a sequential game with the host "moving first" (Damore and Gore, Evolution (2011)).
  • Onur Ornek was an undegraduate summer research student in 2011.
  • Yuqing Zhang was a an RSI Summer research high school student in 2011, and is now an undergraduate here at MIT.
Kevin Axelrod (CV)
Harvard Biophysics PhD student (2011 start)
BS Physics, University of Pennsylvania 
kaxelrod at
Office: NE46-629
Kevin has demonstrated that phenotypic states within a cell lose resilience to perturbations near a critical transition. This work explores an exciting parallel with other work in the group studying similar phenomena at the level of the population. 

Funding Sources

Arolyn Conwill 
Physics Graduate Student (2010 start)
BS Physics, Pomona College
aconwill at
Office: NE46-629
Arolyn is studying the properties of a mutualism in which two bacterial strains can together survive multi-drug environments.
Jonathan Friedman (google scholar)
PhD Computational and Systems Biology, MIT (2013)
Office:  NE46-631
yonatanf at

Jonathan's doctoral researched focused on leveraging high-throughput genomic surveys to study the structure of natural microbial communities. In the Gore lab, he is interested in testing the principles that shape ecological communities in simple, tractable model systems.  
Nic Vega (google scholar)
PhD Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biochemistry
Boston University (2013)
Office:  NE46-633
nvega at 

Nic's doctoral research at Boston University explored bacterial signaling and community dynamics and their effects on antibiotic response. Current research interests include stability and invasibility of polymicrobial communities and population dynamics of multi-species systems under stress.
 Ecological Systems Biology
Logan Higgins
NSF Graduate Fellow
Microbiology PhD Student (2012 start)
BA Biology & Mathematics, Lewis & Clark College 
loganh at
Office: NE46-627

Logan's undergraduate research focused on the ecology of plant-symbiotic microorganisms in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Currently, she is studying the degree to which pair-wise interactions between species allows one to predict the outcome of multi-species competition.

Lab Manager
Olutayo (Ty) Ogun 
M.Sc Biological Sciences, UMASS Lowell
ooo at
Office:  13 - 2018

Ty is in charge of the overall safety of the lab and interested in the day to day operation of the lab research.
Lab Administrative Assistant
Monica Wolf
BA Social Psychology, UMASSBoston
mwolf at
Office:  13 - 2029
Phone: 617 253-4829
Fax: 617 258-6883

Saurabh Gandhi
Physics Graduate Student (2013 start)
B. Tech. in Engineering Physics, 
Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay
gsaurabh at
Office: NE46-629

Studying something related to the dynamics of migrating populations. Something to do with Fisher waves and push waves, but its too early to not be confused!

Barrett Deris (google scholar)
PhD Physics, UC San Diego 2013
Office:  NE46-631
deris at

Barrett's doctoral research characterized the proliferation and evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by establishing quantitative relations between the fitness of drug-resistant organisms and the molecular mechanisms conferring resistance. He is interested in understanding the factors that determine community stability and evolvability in living systems.
Avihu Yona (google scholar)
PhD Weizmann Institute of Science (2013)
Office:  NE46-633
avihuy at
In his doctoral research Avihu utilized experimental evolution to study the evolutionary dynamics of genomic duplications like aneuploidy and families of homologous genes. In the Gore and Alm labs, he is interested in how complex populations evolve as whole biological entity and which evolutionary forces can be applied to reshape such populations towards desirable traits. 
Christoph Ratzke (google scholar)
PhD  Biophysics, Technical University Munich (2013)
Office:  NE46-633
cratzke at
Christoph did his doctorate at the Technical University Munich, studying the dynamics of enzyme complexes with multicolor single molecule FRET. Now he went into systems biology to move from the investigation of biomolecules to whole cells and populations. Currently Christoph is investigating the interactions between different species on a parasite-host system.
Hasan Celiker
Siebel Scholar
Electrical Engineering Graduate Student (2009 start)
BS Electrical Engineering, Bilkent Univ, Turkey 
celiker at
Office: NE46-625
 Hasan studied electrical engineering in Turkey before coming to MIT for graduate school. In our group, he has discovered that competition between species can drive public-goods cooperation within a species (Celiker and Gore, Molecular Systems Biology (2012)). His current experiments explore the co-evolutionary dynamics of multi-species microbial ecosystems.
Manoshi Datta (google scholar) (
NDSE Graduate Fellow
Computational & Systems Biology PhD student (2010 start)
BS Bioengineering and Chemical Biology, UC Berkeley 
mdatta at
Office: 48-417 (Polz lab) and NE46-627
Manoshi has experimentally demonstrated some surprising ways that cooperation is favored in spatially expanding populations (Datta et al, PNAS (2013)). She is currently working with Martin Polz to study community assembly in ocean microbes.
Alfonso Perez Escudero (google scholar)
PhD Physics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2014)
Office: NE46-625

Alfonso's doctoral research concerned collective behavior and optimality priniciples in a variety of biological systems, from the neuro-anatomy of the worm C. elegans to schooling of fish. In the Gore lab he is interested in studying decision-making and collective behavior in worms.