actin cytoskeleton plays a crucial role in many aspects of cellular life
such as cell motion and cell division. We are interested in the physical
and engineering principles involved in the assembly of actin proteins
into filaments and larger scale structures. Theoretical methods of
statistical mechanics and soft matter physics are applied to actin
protein assemblies to study the emergent collective properties. In order to
address the complexity of biological systems and to formulate
testable theoretical predictions our work is closely coupled to experiment.
Depending on the biological question, the methods we use involve computational
and analytical modeling and/or quantitative data analysis in collaboration
Cell image showing actin concentrated
at the leading edge of a motile fibroblast (image courtesy of Naoki
Watanabe, Tohoku University).