The biophysics of cell growth: Building organisms of just the right size
Speaker: Prof. Clifford Brangwynne, Princeton University
Department: Electrical Engineering
Location: Engineering Quadrangle J201
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Cell growth underlies a wide variety of biological processes ranging from embryonic development to cancer. Living cells are not simply bags of amorphous cytoplasmic fluid, but are complex machines with a variety of subcellular structures. Cell growth thus involves the coordinated growth of numerous intracellular components to maintain proper function. How growth is coordinated across disparate biological length scales, and the way in which fundamental physical laws play a role in controlling growth, are poorly understood. After an introduction of these concepts and the current state of the field, accessible to an audience of non-biologists, we will discuss some of our recent work on a class of intracellular organelles which play an important role in cell growth. We discuss how engineering and physics approaches to understanding these structures has begun to elucidate fundamental principles underlying the coupling of cell growth across diverse biological length scales.
Weber and Brangwynne, Cell 2012
Brangwynne et.al. PNAS 2011
Greenan et.al. Current Biology 2010