We are studying the molecular mechanisms of force generation in the cell cytoskeleton with a (current) focus on nuclear force transfer. We employ techniques like femtosecond laser ablation, micromanipulation and photoactivation for manipulating the cellular force balance. We are also interested in how cells sense and respond to micro-environmental mechanical cues and how cytoskeletal forces are altered in pathologies like cancer and muscular dystrophies.
CELL AND TISSUE ENGINEERING
New technologies for controlling cell and tissue function are an important focus. We are developing novel materials for controlling cell adhesion, new methods to apply mechanical forces to cells and to micropattern intracellular structure.
QUANTITATIVE CELL BIOLOGY
We have developed new methods for analyzing protein binding interactions in living cells using a combination of mathematical modeling and fluorescence-based methods. We continue to refine these methods and apply them for developing a quantitative understanding of intracellular processes.
Committed Master’s and undergraduate students who can contribute >10 hours per week for at least 2 consecutive semesters (Fall&Spring), please email Qiao Zhang (firstname.lastname@example.org) with 1-page reviews of at least 2 journal articles (research papers, no reviews) in the field (articles may be from our lab, or other labs).