Dimitrios Vavylonis, Professor

Our group develops mathematical and computational models in cell biophysics, with a special focus on the actin cytoskeleton. Our motivation is to better understand the physical principles that underlie the function and internal organization of living cells over length scales larger than that of individual molecules. Networks and bundles of actin filaments spontaneously form subcellular structures with mechanical integrity that provide cells with shape, generate mechanical forces and movement by polymerization, and act as tracks for motor proteins. In collaboration with biologists and computer scientists, we apply methods from statistical physics, soft matter physics, and nonlinear dynamics to study biological processes such as the function of the actomyosin contractile ring during cytokinesis and cell polarization for cell motion, mating, and growth.

Dr. Vavylonis received his doctorate and master's degree in physics from Columbia University and his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Athens. He joined Lehigh from Columbia University and Yale University, following postdoctoral work in Columbia's department of chemical engineering and Yale's department of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. At Lehigh he received the Libsch Early Career Research Award and was promoted to the rank of Professor. He had visiting positions at the University of Lausanne, AMOLF (Amsterdam) and Kyoto University. He is an editorial board member of Cytoskeleton and Scientific Reports.

Our work is currently supported by NIH/NIGMS.