Alexandra (Sasha) Jilkine, Mathematical Biologist at the University of Arizona, will give a colloquium titled, "Modeling Cell Polarity: Theory to Experiments."
In order to migrate, cells recruit various proteins to the plasma membrane and spatially segregate them to form a distinct front and back. I present two possible mechanisms for this symmetry breaking process, and explain how cells can regulate the transition from a homogeneous, “resting cell,” state to a spatially heterogeneous state corresponding to a polarized cell. I then focus on experimentally distinguishing between various proposed polarity models in crawling cells through perturbations of cell geometry.
Originally published at acms.nd.edu.