Steve Andrews

Department of Bioengineering
University of Washington

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My book on light and waves is finally published! It's available at Springer, Amazon, and elsewhere. It's a textbook that's aimed toward undergraduate non-science majors, but essentially everyone will find something new here. It covers all types of waves, including light waves, ocean waves, sound waves, quantum mechanics, and gravitational waves. See the book website:

Research Interests

I am fascinated by how the highly structured macroscopic world of living organisms is built from the stochastic microscopic world of individual molecules.

Spatial organization

I study spatial organization on cellular size scales using detailed biochemical simulations. This work addresses questions such as how E. coli bacteria center their cell-division plane, how macromolecular crowding affects chemical reaction rates within cells, and why yeast cells secrete proteases that degrade pheromone signals. I also do a substantial amount of algorithm and software development to support this research. The resulting Smoldyn simulator is widely used and one of the most widely cited simulators available. Upcoming software development will focus on filaments because these are essential biological components but hard to model with current tools.

Cell signaling

How much information can cells transmit through their signaling systems? And how have the systems evolved to improve information transmission? I am pursuing these questions in cell signaling research. For example, my recent work investigated the mechanisms that could enable cells to exhibit "dose-response alignment", which is a phenomenon in which multiple stages of cell signaling pathways are similarly sensitive to stimuli. I am also investigating the information transmission implications of different dose-response relationships in order to better understand how cells can convey information precisely using inherently noisy biochemical reactions.