Vavylonis Group

Department of Physics


Lehigh
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BDSI Team: Summer 2019

The Biosystems Dynamics Summer Institute at Lehigh University gives undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research teams focused on solving problems related to the life sciences. Our 2019 team with undergraduate students Rongke Liu (majoring in Statistics) and Julia Skrapits (majoring in Molecular Biology) worked on simulations of confined actin filaments and image analysis of C. elegans motion, with the guidance of Physics Ph.D. student Danielle Holz.

Both Rongke and Julia received best poster awards!



BDSI Team: Summer 2010

The 2010 BDSI team, headed by Dr. Xiaolei Huang and Dr. Dimitrios Vavylonis, continued the work started in the summer of 2009 on actin filament polymerization through computer-based curve fitting and tracking.


Undergraduates Students:

Jen Colquhoun participated as a junior at Lehigh University, majoring in Biochemistry. Over the summer, she used JFilament to track actin filaments in 3D and 4D GFP-CHD images of dividing fission yeast (provided by the lab of J.-Q. Wu). Her analysis demonstrates the process of assembly of the actin contractile ring in dividing fission yeast through a dynamic filament meshwork.  
Christopher Devulder participated as a junior at Lehigh University, majoring in Physics and Mathematics. He quantified static and dynamic properties of actin cables in fission yeast cells using JFilament. He used these data to investigate the role of mechanical forces involved in the shape and position of these actin bundles, their dynamics of remodeling and their polarization across the cell.
Peter Wallerson participated as a junior at Columbia University majoring in Biomedical Engineering on the Biomechanics Track. Over the summer, he created a Java tool for modeling the shapes of membranes of cells. Combined with the already existent method of tracking actin filaments, this will allow further analysis of the role of the cytoskeleton in cell shape and dynamics.


Graduate Students:

Nikola Ojkic, PhD student,

Department of Physics, Lehigh University

Tian Shen, PhD student

Department of Computer Science, Lehigh University


BDSI Team: Summer 2009

The 2009 BDSI team, headed by Dr. Xiaolei Huang and Dr. Dimitrios Vavylonis, concentrated on the study of actin filament polymerization through computer-based curve fitting and tracking.


Undergraduates Students:

Michael Fedorka participated as a senior at Lehigh University majoring in bioengineering, on the biopharmaceutical track. The scope of his studies has supplied him with an extensive background in chemistry, biology, and math in their engineering and scientific applications. Over the summer he worked with the Huang-Vavylonis team to develop software and computational models to analyze actin polymerization.

Lisa Vasko participated as a junior at Lehigh University studying Applied Mathematics and Actuarial Science. In this project, she created a Java tool for actin filament tracking using the stretching active contours method.

Ashley Ruby participated as a senior at Lehigh University, majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience. During the span of the project, she measured filament growth rates from TIRFM images and analyzed the data. She gained experience with the use computational methods in biomedical image analysis.


Graduate Students:

Matthew Smith, PhD student,

Department of Physics, Lehigh University

Tian Shen, PhD student

Department of Computer Science, Lehigh University