Leah Edelstein-Keshet
Tue, May 1, 2012
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Mathematical Cell Biology Summer Course
This opening lecture lists some of the questions and issues propelling current research in Cell Biology and modelling in this field. I introduce basic features of eukaryotic cells that can crawl, and explain briefly the role of the actin cytoskeleton in cell motility. I also introduce the biochemical signalling that regulates the cytoskeleton and the concept of cell polarization. By simplifying the enormously complex signalling networks, and applying tools of mathematics (nonlinear dynamics, scaling, bifurcations), we can hope to get some understanding of a few of the basic mechanisms that areresponsible for symmetry breaking, robustness, pattern formation, self-assembly, and other cell-level phenomena.