Colloquium Schedule

Colloquium: Thursday, February 11, 4:10 PM, Lewis Lab 316

From Fluids to Fibers: Liquid Phase Separation and Aggregation of Disordered Proteins

Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Princeton University

Liquid phase separation is emerging as a key process underlying intracellular organization and the assembly of non-membrane bound organelles such as P granules, nucleoli, and stress granules. These organelles exhibit liquid-like properties in vivo, however the molecular mechanisms that drive their assembly and give rise to distinct material properties are not well understood. Taking a bottom-up approach, we have identified proteins and molecular interactions that drive intracellular liquid phase separation. We combine microrheology tools with quantitative imaging techniques, to precisely measure the viscoelastic properties and molecular dynamics of protein assemblies. We find that the viscosity and dynamics within droplets are highly tunable by environmental conditions and varying components such as RNA substrates. Notably, we find that disordered proteins – a protein class long implicated in neurodegenerative protein aggregation, are important in driving liquid phase separation. This work provides mechanistic insight into how liquid phase separation gives rise to dynamic assemblies with tunable material properties that may be functionally regulated throughout development or conversely, misregulated in disease.

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Physics and Astronomy Colloquia are usually scheduled for Thursdays at 4:10 PM in Lewis Lab room 316. Refreshments and snacks are available in the nearby coffee room at 3:45 PM.


Physics Colloquium Schedule for SPRING 2016

Click on Title below for past or upcoming Announcements (where available), and Speaker name for website.        

January 28Brian CamleyUC San DiegoEmergent Collective Chemotaxis Without Single-Cell Gradient Sensing
February 4Francesca SerraU of PennsylvaniaGood Defects, or What Frustrated
Liquid Crystals Can Do
February 11Shana Elbaum-GarfinklePrinceton Univ.From Fluids to Fibers: Liquid Phase Separation and Aggregation of Disordered Proteins
February 18Wylie AhmedInstitut Curie, ParisActive Mechanics Keeps Our Cells Alive
February 25Andrea SorannoUniv. of ZurichTBA
March 3Aurelia Honerkamp-SmithUniv. of CambridgeTBA
March 10Thomas HartmanCornell Univ.TBA (String and Quantum Field Theory)
March 17Spring Break--
March 24Renee FatemiUniv. of KentuckyTBA (Nuclear/Elementary Particle)
March 31TBA-TBA
April 7TBA-TBA
April 14TBA-TBA
April 21Pavel KabosNIST, BoulderTBA (Condensed Matter)
April 28Gaurav BahlU. Illinois, Urbana-Cham.TBA (Optical, Mechanical, Nano Systems)
May 12---