Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 01/31/2017
Steinman Hall, Room #312
(Chemical Engineering Conference Room)
Professor Wolfgang Losert
University of Maryland
Department of Physics
"Physical Guidance of Cell Migration "
Cells migrate as individuals or groups, to perform critical functions in life from organ development to wound healing and the immune response. While directed migration of cells is often mediated by chemical or physical gradients, our recent work has demonstrated that the physical properties of the microenvironment can also control and guide migration. I will describe how an underlying wave-like process of the actin scaffolding drives persistent migration, and how such actin waves are nucleated and guided by the texture of the microenvironment. Based on this observation we design textures capable of guiding cells in a single preferred direction using local asymmetries in nano/microtopography on subcellular scales. This phenomenon is observed both for the pseudopod-dominated migration of Dictyostelium cells and for the lamellipod-driven migration of human neutrophils. The conservation of this mechanism across cell types suggests that actin-wave-based guidance is important in biology and physiology.
BRIEF ACADEMIC/EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
Wolfgang Losert is a Professor of Physics and Associate Dean in the College of Computer Mathematical and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland College Park. Dr Losert served as Chair for the Division of Biological Physics of the American Physical Society. Dr Losert obtained his Diploma in Technical Physics at the Technical University of Munich, and his PhD in Physics from City College of the City University of New York working on Pattern formation with Herman Cummins. His current research is centered on the Dynamics of Living Systems, with a focus on how cells sense each other and the texture of their environment, and how groups of cells operate collectively.
RECENT RESEARCH INTERESTS
Dynamics of Living Systems, Collective Dynamics