|Associate Professor (joint in Bio Engineering)|
Quantitative cell biology. Far from being well-mixed, almost all biological systems exhibit precise spatial and temporal control of protein, mRNA, and DNA concentration, demonstrating that cells measure distance and detect proximity with a molecular-scale tool kit. Although these phenomena have traditionally been studied in the context of detailed expression patterning in development, recent exciting results (including our own work) reveal that precise spatial organization is the rule rather than the exception in the bacterial cell. Prokaryotic cells develop cell polarity, exhibit time-dependent gradients of protein concentration, can divide with astonishingly high precision at midcell, and exhibit precise control over the spatial position of genetic loci in the cell. Our lab is working to understand these organizational phenomena using techniques ranging from genetics and traditional cell biology to next generation sequencing and single molecule fluorescence experiments.
|Nanopore Physics Lab|
We have been studying how biological molecules move and interact using DNA translocation through biological pores. This single molecule tool has its charms compared to established techniques such as optical tweezers. We are focusing our research on using the protein pore mycobacterium smegmatis porin A (MspA).
|Marcel den Nijs|
The connectivity of the human cortex offers an unique platform for the study of strongly correlated non-equilibrium statistical mechanical phenomena. We analyze subdural electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings from the surface of the human cortex. We have identified broadband power-law scaling in the electric potentials produced by the brain. This research is in collaboration with the Ojemann Grid Lab
, with as focus long-term clinical monitoring of epilepsy patients, to answer basic neuroscience questions as well as to develop tools for clinical and rehabilitative applications.
|Theory of lipid membranes|
Modulated phases of block copolymers and biological lipids; fusion of small vesicles and organization in lipid bilayers, such as the plasma membrane.