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ChemE Colloquia - Daniel A. Fletcher, University of California, Berkeley

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Columbia University, Morningside Campus, seminar at 4 PM in 825 Mudd, reception at 3:30 PM in 801 Mudd.

To bend or not to bend: How filaments & membranes couple mechanics & biochemistry

Dan Fletcher, UC Berkeley

Cell shape changes require the coordinated assembly of proteins in the cytoplasm and on the membrane. In processes such as motility and endocytosis, cells must organize cytoskeletal filaments and membrane proteins to generate controlled forces for protrusion and invagination. While many of the essential proteins involved in motility and endocytosis are known, basic physical questions remain about the molecular mechanisms that control cell shape. How does the presence of force on a filament affect assembly of cytoskeletal networks? And how does spatial organization of membrane proteins affect their ability to change shape? This talk will describe recent in vitro reconstitution experiments that suggest physical boundary conditions are essential regulators of cell shape change.

Dr. Dan Fletcher is the Jack Lloyd Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering and Biophysics at UC Berkeley, where his research focuses on the study of spatial organization in cells and the development of biomedical instruments and biophysical techniques.

Categories: Academic: Lecture