Michael J. Rust

Research Summary
Bacteria are an ancient form of life that occupies almost every conceivable niche, from pathogenesis to commensal existence with an animal host to primary production in oceans and lake. Despite their apparent simplicity, bacteria possess sophisticated biochemical networks that dynamically store information about the size and status of the cell and conditions in the external environment. These biochemical systems allow precise decision making that allow microbes to thrive in challenging conditions. Our lab is interested in the design principles of these reaction networks. We use a multidisciplinary approach: biochemical reconstitution of the underlying interactions, single cell microscopy to study function, and mathematical modeling to rebuild systems in silico. A major focus area is bacterial circadian rhythms, which allow single cells to predict the time of day.
Bacteria, Mathematical Model, Circadian Rhythms, Biochemistry, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Cell Division
Awards & Honors
  • 2014 - 2018 Pew Scholar
  1. Rust MJ. Biological rhythms: The suspended animation clock. Curr Biol. 2021 12 06; 31(23):R1532-R1534. View in: PubMed

  2. Liao Y, Rust MJ. The circadian clock ensures successful DNA replication in cyanobacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 05 18; 118(20). View in: PubMed

  3. Murugan A, Husain K, Rust MJ, Hepler C, Bass J, Pietsch JMJ, Swain PS, Jena SG, Toettcher JE, Chakraborty AK, Sprenger KG, Mora T, Walczak AM, Rivoire O, Wang S, Wood KB, Skanata A, Kussell E, Ranganathan R, Shih HY, Goldenfeld N. Roadmap on biology in time varying environments. Phys Biol. 2021 05 17; 18(4). View in: PubMed

  4. Pattanayak GK, Liao Y, Wallace EWJ, Budnik B, Drummond DA, Rust MJ. Daily Cycles of Reversible Protein Condensation in Cyanobacteria. Cell Rep. 2020 08 18; 32(7):108032. View in: PubMed

  5. Hong L, Lavrentovich DO, Chavan A, Leypunskiy E, Li E, Matthews C, LiWang A, Rust MJ, Dinner AR. Bayesian modeling reveals metabolite-dependent ultrasensitivity in the cyanobacterial circadian clock. Mol Syst Biol. 2020 06; 16(6):e9355. View in: PubMed

  6. Husain K, Pittayakanchit W, Pattanayak G, Rust MJ, Murugan A. Kalman-like Self-Tuned Sensitivity in Biophysical Sensing. Cell Syst. 2019 Nov 27; 9(5):459-465.e6. View in: PubMed

  7. Leypunskiy E, Kiciman E, Shah M, Walch OJ, Rzhetsky A, Dinner AR, Rust MJ. Geographically Resolved Rhythms in Twitter Use Reveal Social Pressures on Daily Activity Patterns. Curr Biol. 2018 12 03; 28(23):3763-3775.e5. View in: PubMed

  8. Hong L, Vani BP, Thiede EH, Rust MJ, Dinner AR. Molecular dynamics simulations of nucleotide release from the circadian clock protein KaiC reveal atomic-resolution functional insights. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 12 04; 115(49):E11475-E11484. View in: PubMed

  9. Liao Y, Rust MJ. The Min Oscillator Defines Sites of Asymmetric Cell Division in Cyanobacteria during Stress Recovery. Cell Syst. 2018 11 28; 7(5):471-481.e6. View in: PubMed

  10. Chew J, Leypunskiy E, Lin J, Murugan A, Rust MJ. High protein copy number is required to suppress stochasticity in the cyanobacterial circadian clock. Nat Commun. 2018 08 01; 9(1):3004. View in: PubMed

  11. Pittayakanchit W, Lu Z, Chew J, Rust MJ, Murugan A. Biophysical clocks face a trade-off between internal and external noise resistance. Elife. 2018 07 10; 7. View in: PubMed

  12. Leypunskiy E, Lin J, Yoo H, Lee U, Dinner AR, Rust MJ. The cyanobacterial circadian clock follows midday in vivo and in vitro. Elife. 2017 07 07; 6. View in: PubMed

  13. Jun S, Rust MJ. A Fundamental Unit of Cell Size in Bacteria. Trends Genet. 2017 07; 33(7):433-435. View in: PubMed

  14. Lambert G, Chew J, Rust MJ. Costs of Clock-Environment Misalignment in Individual Cyanobacterial Cells. Biophys J. 2016 Aug 23; 111(4):883-891. View in: PubMed

  15. Rust MJ. Computational Recipes in Enzymology. Cell Syst. 2015 Sep 23; 1(3):178-9. View in: PubMed

  16. Brown MS, Grubb J, Zhang A, Rust MJ, Bishop DK. Small Rad51 and Dmc1 Complexes Often Co-occupy Both Ends of a Meiotic DNA Double Strand Break. PLoS Genet. 2015 Dec; 11(12):e1005653. View in: PubMed

  17. Pattanayak GK, Lambert G, Bernat K, Rust MJ. Controlling the Cyanobacterial Clock by Synthetically Rewiring Metabolism. Cell Rep. 2015 Dec 22; 13(11):2362-2367. View in: PubMed

  18. Chang YG, Cohen SE, Phong C, Myers WK, Kim YI, Tseng R, Lin J, Zhang L, Boyd JS, Lee Y, Kang S, Lee D, Li S, Britt RD, Rust MJ, Golden SS, LiWang A. Circadian rhythms. A protein fold switch joins the circadian oscillator to clock output in cyanobacteria. Science. 2015 Jul 17; 349(6245):324-8. View in: PubMed

  19. Lin J, Chew J, Chockanathan U, Rust MJ. Mixtures of opposing phosphorylations within hexamers precisely time feedback in the cyanobacterial circadian clock. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Sep 16; 111(37):E3937-45. View in: PubMed

  20. Pattanayak GK, Phong C, Rust MJ. Rhythms in energy storage control the ability of the cyanobacterial circadian clock to reset. Curr Biol. 2014 Aug 18; 24(16):1934-8. View in: PubMed

  21. Pattanayak G, Rust MJ. The cyanobacterial clock and metabolism. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2014 Apr; 18:90-5. View in: PubMed

  22. Phong C, Markson JS, Wilhoite CM, Rust MJ. Robust and tunable circadian rhythms from differentially sensitive catalytic domains. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jan 15; 110(3):1124-9. View in: PubMed

  23. Rust MJ. Orderly wheels of the cyanobacterial clock. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 16; 109(42):16760-1. View in: PubMed

  24. Rust MJ, Golden SS, O'Shea EK. Light-driven changes in energy metabolism directly entrain the cyanobacterial circadian oscillator. Science. 2011 Jan 14; 331(6014):220-3. View in: PubMed

  25. Rust MJ, Markson JS, Lane WS, Fisher DS, O'Shea EK. Ordered phosphorylation governs oscillation of a three-protein circadian clock. Science. 2007 Nov 02; 318(5851):809-12. View in: PubMed

  26. Brandenburg B, Lee LY, Lakadamyali M, Rust MJ, Zhuang X, Hogle JM. Imaging poliovirus entry in live cells. PLoS Biol. 2007 Jul; 5(7):e183. View in: PubMed