Cytoskeleton and motility
My team works on the general theme of the role of the cytoskeleton in cell motility and cell shape changes. We use in vitro bead systems coupled with the study of simple cell and tissue movements from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to probe the interplay between biochemical activity and biophysical behavior. We use the bead system to examine how various protein variants and mutations affect movement and then introduce the same mutations in the developing worm to observe their effects on cell migrations such as ventral enclosure. Overall, we aim to better understand how biochemistry affects force generation and how individual filament dynamics are integrated to produce forces and cell migration in vivo during embryogenesis and development.
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