Using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism, we are interested in understanding and controlling aging and replicative lifespan at the single-cell level. We apply quantitative systems biology methods and a high-throughput microfluidic platform to the study of cellular aging. Our immediate and long-term goals are to: (i) uncover deterministic and stochastic factors affecting replicative lifespan and survival distributions, (ii) elucidate how gene expression levels and genetic noise are altered by the aging process, (iii) identify the components of the master regulatory network governing aging, (iv) characterize the connectivity among the network components including feedback loops, (v) discover chemical compounds that are able to modulate basic aging process and extend lifespan.

Read more about our research program.


Compound in Testing: NIH Interventions Testing Program (ITP) website is updated with the 2019 cohort of compounds-in-testing, listing the AcarLab-discovered/proposed chemical compound Mycophenolic Acid (MPA).  ITP is a multi-institutional study investigating treatments with the potential to extend lifespan, and delay disease & dysfunction in mice.

November 18, 2022: Our paper, entitled “Phenotypic plasticity as a facilitator of microbial evolution“, is published as a Cover Article at Environmental Epigenetics.

October 13, 2022: Our paper, entitled “Phenotypic selection during laboratory evolution of yeast populations leads to a genome-wide sustainable chromatin compaction shift“, is published at Frontiers in Microbiology.

October 1, 2021: Our paper, entitled “Modeling aging and its impact on cellular function and organismal behavior“, is published at Experimental Gerontology.

June 30, 2021: Our paper, entitled “A yeast-optimized single-cell transcriptomics platform elucidates how mycophenolic acid and guanine alter global mRNA levels“, is published at Communications Biology.

November 13, 2020: See the FORBES article written about our paper!

November 7, 2020: Our paper, entitled “Chromatin regulatory genes differentially interact in networks to facilitate distinct GAL1 activity and noise profiles“, is published online in Current Genetics.

October 27, 2020: Our paper, entitled “Epigenetic mechanisms contribute to evolutionary adaptation of gene network activity under environmental selection“, is published at Cell Reports. Yale news office publishes a news story about our paper. Another news story is published in the Yale Daily News.

September 11, 2020: Murat gives a virtual talk at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.

June 9, 2020: Murat gives a virtual talk at the National Academies-organized workshop “Integrating the Science of Aging and Environmental Health Research”.

March 30, 2020: We publish a paper, entitled “Characterization of the impact of GMP/GDP synthesis inhibition on replicative lifespan extension in yeast“, in Current Genetics.

January 14, 2020: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine appoints Murat as a member of the organizing committee for the virtual workshop “Integrating the Science of Aging and Environmental Health Research”.

January 13, 2020: The course designed and taught by Murat (Concepts and Applications in Systems Biology (MCDB 461)), is among the highly-rated MCDB Department courses, based on the CourseTable statistics.

December 13, 2019: Murat becomes a member of the Editorial Board at the Cell Press journal iScience.

December 12, 2019: Congratulations to Emerson for passing his PhD Qualifying exam.

November 6, 2019: Murat will co-organize the Sixth Annual Northeastern Glenn Symposium on the Biology of Aging.

August 20, 2019: Our paper, entitled “Quantitative insights into age-associated DNA-repair inefficiency in single cells“, is published at Cell Reports.  Yale news office publishes a news story about our paper.

July 15, 2019: Our paper, entitled “Stochastic modeling of aging cells reveals how damage accumulation, repair, and cell-division asymmetry affect clonal senescence and population fitness“, is published at BMC Bioinformatics.

July 1, 2019: Postdoctoral associate David Moreno Fortuno joins our lab.

May 31, 2019: Congratulations to Xinyue for successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis.

April 2019: MCDB graduate student Emerson Santiago joins our lab.

October 16, 2018: Our paper, entitled “Insights into bidirectional gene expression control using the canonical GAL1/GAL10 promoter“, is published at Cell Reports.

October 15, 2018: Congratulations to Tim for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis.

October 4, 2018: Congratulations to Thomas for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis.

September 28, 2018: Our paper, entitled “The systems biology of single-cell aging“, is published at iScience.

September 28, 2018: Our paper, entitled “Fundamental characteristics of single-cell aging in diploid yeast“, is published at iScience.

September 26, 2018: Our paper, entitled “Multi-component gene network design as a survival strategy in diverse environments“, is published at BMC Systems Biology.

June 29, 2018: Our paper, entitled “Live-cell imaging of chromatin condensation dynamics by CRISPR“, is published at iScience.

June 5, 2018: We publish a paper, entitled “Scarless genome editing: progress towards understanding genotype-phenotype relationships“, in Current Genetics.

May 30, 2018: We publish a paper, entitled “Mechanisms for the epigenetic inheritance of stress response in single cells“, in Current Genetics.

April 18, 2018: Our paper “Heritable stress response dynamics revealed by single-cell genealogy” is published at Science Advances.

April 6, 2018: Congratulations to Greg for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis.

March 1, 2018: Congratulations to Ethan for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis.

January 31, 2018: Our paper “The generational scalability of single-cell replicative aging” is published at Science Advances.

December 1, 2017: Postdoctoral associate Tolga Olmez joins our lab.

November 28, 2017: Our paper “A high-throughput screen for yeast replicative lifespan identifies lifespan-extending compounds” is published at Cell Reports.  Yale news office publishes a news story about our paper.

September 25, 2017: Our paper “Noise reduction as an emergent property of single-cell aging” is published at Nature Communications.

July 1, 2017: Murat is promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology.

May 24, 2017: Murat’s contribution to the Voices section is published in the May issue of Cell Systems.

April 2017: Congratulations to Meenakshi for successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis.

January 3, 2017: Our paper “A precise genome editing method reveals insights into the activity of eukaryotic promoters” is published at Cell Reports.

December 2016: Congratulations to Guste for passing her PhD Qualifying exam.

October 3, 2016: Our paper “Noise reduction facilitated by dosage compensation in gene networks” is published at Nature Communications. The Yale News office publishes a news story on the publication.

August 23, 2016: The Systems Biology Institute receives a center grant from NIH.

March 2016: MCDB graduate student Guste Urbonaite joins our lab.

June 4, 2015: Congratulations to Tim for passing his PhD Qualifying exam.

May 9, 2015: The Yale Scientific Magazine publishes an article on our recent paper.

April 1, 2015: Congratulations to Ethan for being a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!

February 11, 2015: Our paper “Evolution of gene network activity by tuning the strength of negative-feedback regulation” is published at Nature Communications. The Yale News office publishes a news story on the publication.

December 2014: Congratulations to Ethan, Greg, and Xinyue for passing their PhD Qualifying exams.

November 10, 2014: Murat receives a secondary appointment from the Physics Department at Yale.

October 6, 2014: Murat is a recipient of the “2014 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award”. Yale news office publishes a news article on the announcement.

October 2014: Murat becomes a Core Program Faculty of the Yale CBB Graduate Program (Computational Biology and Bioinformatics).

Sept 2014: Murat, together with Damon Clark, organizes the MCDB Departmental Retreat that took place in Woods Hole, MA.

Sept 2014: Murat becomes an Advisory Committee Member for the Yale Systems Biology Institute.

May-June 2014: MCDB graduate students Xinyue Luo, Gregory Elison, and Ethan Sarnoski join our lab.

June 14, 2014: Our paper “Network-dosage compensation topologies as recurrent network motifs in natural gene networks” is published at BMC Systems Biology.

May 2014: Postdoctoral associate Yuan Xue joins our lab.

March 2014: Murat is awarded with a “Yale Junior Faculty Fellowship” for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Spring 2014: Our department launches a new undergraduate track in computational biology. Murat, together with Thierry Emonet, teaches the newly designed MCDB course ‘Systems Modeling in Biology’.

Nov 2013: As a faculty member representing Yale, Murat attends the “2013 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students”.

July 2013: Murat wins a “2013 New Scholar in Aging” award from the Ellison Medical Foundation.

July 2013: MCDB graduate student Thomas Young joins our lab.

June 2013: Graduate student Ruijie (Tim)  Song joins our lab. Tim is a graduate student at the CBB graduate program (Computational Biology and Bioinformatics).

Dec 2012: Murat receives a “Yale Endowed Postdoctoral Fellowship Award” to be used for an Acar Lab postdoc.

Oct-Nov 2012: Postdoctoral associates Weilin Peng and Ping Liu join our lab.

Summer 2012: Graduate student Meenakshi Chatterjee joins the lab. Meenakshi is a graduate student at the Electrical Engineering Department.

January 2012: Murat becomes affiliated with the BBS Graduate Program, as well as the Integrated Graduate Program on Physical and Engineering Biology.

January 1, 2012:  Murat is appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of                                      Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale; and he joins the                              Yale Systems Biology Institute as a core faculty member.

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