Eukaryotes solve the problem of packing diverse physical and chemical processes into a small volume by splitting their intracellular space into membrane-bound organelles. We study the cell biology of organells, interfacing with experiments from yeast, worm, fly, and mammalian cells, as well as in-vitro reconstituted protein-membrane active composites. Major areas of research include:
(i) Dynamics of the cell surface as an active membrane-cytoskeleton composite
(ii) Origin of organelle morphology and spatial distribution
(iii) Evolutionary origins of cellular compartments
(iv) Regulation, information flow, and distributed control of vesicle traffic
Old: A large part of our effort at the Simons Centre is in exploring new physical and chemical principles underlying biological organization across scales, from functional biomolecules, to subcellular organelles, to the cellular and tissue scale. We are interested in the folding and packaging principles that govern the three dimensional functional organization of large biomolecular assemblies, such as proteins and chromatin, and their interactions with other cellular components. At a larger scale, at the subcellular, cellular and tissue level, organization is driven by active mechanisms fuelled by energy. In many cases, such actively driven organization enables the efficient processing of information, computation and control - tasks that a self-organized living machine has evolved to perform.
Inverse Problems: Lectures I & II
1st Jan 2018
Debsankar Banerjee, Akankshi Munjal, Thomas Lecuit and Madan Rao, Actomyosin pulsation and symmetry breaking flows in a confined active elastomer subject to affine and nonaffine deformations, arXiv:1606.01713 [physics.bio-ph] (2016).
Himani Sachdeva, Mustansir Barma and Madan Rao, Nonequilibrium mechanisms underlying de novo biogenesis of Golgi cisternae, arXiv:1606.01713 [physics.bio-ph] (2016).