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Keck Seminar: Cell Shape Change: Bridging Genetics, Biochemistry and Mechanics
Anna Sokac, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine
date:4:00PM   US Central (GMT −0500)
Friday, December 6, 2013
location:BRC Auditorium, BioScience Research Collaborative Building, Rice University
sponsor:Gulf Coast Consortia

Cell shape is critical to cell function, and cells must reliably change or maintain shape as circumstances demand. Yet despite a central role in development and homeostasis, cell shape is poorly understood. Our lab is studying several aspects of cell shape change in early Drosophila embryos. Specifically: 1) How are sub-cellular systems, from nucleus to cell surface, integrated to accomplish cell shape change? 2) How are materials, like actin and membrane, moved around? 3) Can mechanics coordinate remote cell surface events? 4) What determines the kinetics of cell shape change? 5) What are the robustness promoting mechanisms that ensure reliable cell shape change, even under stressful conditions?

We pursue this work because we are fascinated with how cells move and do their jobs. Since failed cell shape change precipitates devastating health burdens, as in cancer and birth defects, our efforts can aid in developing future clinical interventions and prevention strategies.

more info:Gulf Coast Consortia
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