Michael Elowitz is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Biology, Biological Engineering and Applied Physics at Caltech. He received his PhD in Physics at Princeton in 1999 and did postdoctoral research at the Rockefeller University, before moving to Caltech in 2003. His laboratory combines synthetic biology, quantitative time-lapse movies of individual cells, and mathematical modeling to understand and engineer genetic circuits operating in cells and tissues. In 2000 he created the Repressilator, a synthetic oscillatory gene circuit that helped initiate the field of Synthetic Biology. He later showed how gene expression “noise” (stochastic fluctuations) could be detected and quantified in living cells, and went on to identify the ways that such noise enables critical cellular behaviors that would be difficult or impossible to implement without it. Recent work from his laboratory has focused on the design principles of signaling pathways, epigenetic memory systems, and cell fate control circuits in systems ranging from bacteria to mammalian cells. He is a Macarthur Fellow, and has received fellowships from the Burroughs Wellcome, Packard and Searle foundations, as well as the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering and the HFSP Nakasone Prize.