Dr. Michaëlle N. Mayalu is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. She received her Ph.D., M.S., and B.S., degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology in the Computing and Mathematical Sciences Department. She was a 2017 California Alliance Postdoctoral Fellowship Program recipient and currently has the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Postdoctoral Enrichment Program award.
Dr. Michaëlle N. Mayalu's area of expertise is in mathematical modeling and control theory of synthetic biological and biomedical systems. She is interested in the development of control theoretic tools for understanding, controlling, and predicting biological function at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels to optimize therapeutic intervention.
She will be the director of the Mayalu Lab whose research objective is to investigate how to optimize biomedical therapeutic designs using theoretical and computational approaches coupled with experiments. Initial project concepts include: i) theoretical and experimental design of bacterial "microrobots" for preemptive and targeted therapeutic intervention, ii) system-level multi-scale modeling of gut associated skin disorders for virtual evaluation and optimization of therapy, iii) theoretical and experimental design of "microrobotic" swarms of engineered bacteria with sophisticated centralized and decentralized control schemes to explore possible mechanisms of pattern formation. The experimental projects in the Mayalu Lab utilize established techniques borrowed from the field of synthetic biology to develop synthetic genetic circuits in E. coli to make bacterial "microrobots". Ultimately the Mayalu Lab aims to develop accurate and efficient modeling frameworks that incorporate computation, dynamical systems, and control theory that will become more widespread and impactful in the design of electro-mechanical and biological therapeutic machines.