Research Overview

The mechanical activities of non-muscle cells drive many processes in embryonic development, tissue maintenance and healing, immune cell migration and function, neuronal circuit formation, and progression of certain diseases. Our understanding of these processes at the multicellular level requires a foundation of knowledge on the behavior of single cells. This research group studies the mechanics of single fibroblasts through experimental comparison of the arrangement of key cytoskeletal and adhesive proteins to the traction patterns generated by the cell. Our fundamental aim is to answer the following questions: What cytoskeletal machinery is assembled by a fibroblast to carry out a native task? Where is that machinery located within the cell, when does it operate, what is its effect under native conditions, and how is it regulated? (more)