Bioengineering Seminar Series
"Tools for exploring how morphology and specifically localized molecular interactions shape cellular signaling behavior"
Martin Meier-Schellersheim, PhD
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Chief, Computational Biology Section, LSB
High-resolution microscopy imaging and techniques for single-molecule manipulations are continuously expanding our knowledge about the spatial regulation of cellular signaling processes, in particular with regard to the importance of biochemical inhomogeneities and molecular clustering within the cytoplasmic membrane. Due to the natural limits imposed by the wavelength of visible light and the strong influence of noise at the molecular level, the interpretation of data acquired by such experiments in most cases can only be done with the help of computational models that allow us to test various competing hypotheses as potential explanations for observed phenomena. Building and exploring such models, however, comes with its own technical and mathematical challenges. I will introduce some novel modeling approaches we developed to address such challenges and will discuss how they can be applied even by non-theorists and what kind of information can be extracted with their help.