The reconstruction of gene regulatory networks from gene expression data has been the subject of intense research activity. A variety of models and methods have been developed to address different aspects of this important problem. However, these techniques are narrowly focused on particular biological and experimental platforms, and require experimental data that are typically unavailable and difficult to ascertain. The more recent availability of higher-throughput sequencing platforms, combined with more precise modes of genetic perturbation, presents an opportunity to formulate more robust and comprehensive approaches to gene network inference. Here, we propose a step-wise framework for identifying gene-gene regulatory interactions that expand from a known point of genetic or chemical perturbation using time series gene expression data. This novel approach sequentially identifies non-steady state genes post-perturbation and incorporates them into a growing series of low-complexity optimization problems. The governing ordinary differential equations of this model are rooted in the biophysics of stochastic molecular events that underlie gene regulation, delineating roles for both protein and RNA-mediated gene regulation. We show the successful application of our core algorithms for network inference using simulated and real datasets.