Dr. Shailesh Date is Chief Executive Officer of the Laboratory for Research in Complex Systems (LRC), an independent research institute that uses rigorous quantitative approaches to solve high-value problems in the sciences and the society. He is also Chief Executive Officer of Silicogenix Inc. Dr. Date’s research primarily focuses on developing computational tools (biology, chemistry) to analyze complex biological systems, pathways and multi-input processes with the goal of identifying points of intervention. His group also studies fundamental biophysical properties of living systems, including biological associations, at various scales.
Since early in his career, Dr. Date’s goal has been to develop projects that bridge academia and industry. As a postdoctoral researcher, he published the first comprehensive interactome model of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, providing a tool to the community to initiate functional investigation of the 50%+ uncharacterized genes, as well as provide a list of potential cell-surface targets. Later at Genentech, appalled at the lack of knowledge of S. aureus behavior in human hosts (even after decades of research), he published, together with his colleagues, the first transcriptomic and proteomic map of the pathogen under true infection conditions in humans. Dr. Date has won a DARPA competition for his work on developing a statistical physics model that envisions evolution (and development of complexity) at a systems level, rather than at the level of individual genes, allowing expansion into novel biochemical, morphological and physiological dimensions. Most recently, as lead senior author, he and his group described the largest bacterium known to science – Ca. Thiomargarita magnifica. This paper highlighted the many dogmatic but incorrect assumptions in the scientific community about microbial cell sizes, cell structure and the eukaryotic-prokaryotic divide. This work was shortlisted for “breakthrough of the year” by Science magazine in 2022.
Dr. Date obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin under the supervision of Dr. Edward Marcotte, with a focus on computational molecular biology. He completed his postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, where he was jointly supervised by Drs. David Roos and Chris Stoeckert. His group has been supported by the Templeton Foundation, The Moore Foundation, DARPA and other agencies/foundations.