Dimitrios Vavylonis, Professor

Our group develops theoretical models describing the role of the actin cytoskeleton in cell organization and function. 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 use the methods of physics to study, analyze, and model the physical properties of these adaptive biological materials. Their plasticity underlies the function of the actomyosin contractile ring during cytokinesis and cell polarization for directional cell motion 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.

Our work is currently supported by NIH/NIGMS.