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Julie Theriot, Group leader
Matthew Footer, laboratory manager
Mr. Footer studies the molecular biochemistry of cytoskeletal components at the molecular and cellular level.
Cells in our bodies can sense a variety of external mechanical signals, such as the stiffness of their extracellular matrix. Cells can also transduce intrinsic mechanical forces to their surroundings that can impact tissue remodeling or lead to pathologies when unregulated. Effie ‘s work is focused on revealing the role of physical forces in ruling the interactions of intracellular bacterial pathogens with host cells so to discover novel pathogenesis mechanisms that facilitate bacterial spread and to uncover universal innate immunity-driven signals that host cells employ to defend themselves.
Rikki is using a combination of modeling and experimentation to determine the mechanisms of
stable actin self-assembly at the leading edge of motile cells.
Neutrophils are the most abundant circulating leukocytes in humans, comprising the first line of innate immune defense. As neutrophils migrate towards sites of infection and inflammation they encounter a highly heterogeneous environment. Tasked to navigate through microscale obstacles, neutrophils continuously engage in a decision-making process. I aspire to understand the cytoskeleton dynamics of neutrophils when facing a directional dilemma and the mechanical forces acting on their multi-lobed nuclei in health and disease.
Andrew is studying the motility of wound healing in zebrafish.
Lorenzo studies how animal cells achieve exquisite, dynamic control of their shapes in order to carry out fundamental processes like cell migration and phagocytosis.
Prathima studies the mechanism of Listeria monocytogenes cell-cell spread between neighboring
epithelial cells and from macrophages to endothelial cells, with a focus on the host cell’s
participation in these processes.
Daan is studying how squishy things get into cells.