Research Interests & Publications:
My research lies at the interface of physics and biology. I am interested in the biophysical aspects of self-organization and pattern formation in biology, and in developing artificial models of biological systems (synthetic biology). Research in my lab has focused on self-organization of the actin machinery along three main research directions. One line of research is centered on utilizing the simplest available natural model system for actin-based movement, namely fish keratocytes cells and fragments, to explore the basic mechanisms underlying cell movement. The second research direction explores the emergence of shape in multicellular animals, focusing on the role of the actin cytoskeleton during hydra regeneration. Finally, we are working to develop artificial cells in which we reconstitute actin dynamics in a controlled environment, detached from the inherent complexity of the living cell.