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Science and Mathematics

Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Zhaleh Ghaemi

May 4, 2021 at 4:00pm5:00pm EDT

Virtual (See event details)

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The Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to welcome Dr. Zhaleh Ghaemi, a Research Scientist at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology. The seminar will be held on Zoom. Please email for Zoom info.

Title: Toward an In Silico Human Cell


Spatial organization is a fundamental characteristic of cells, achieved by utilizing both membrane-bound and non-bound liquid organelles. The question Dr. Ghaemi has been asking is what functional roles does spatial organization play in the biochemistry of a cell? In this talk, Zhaleh will describe how they constructed a spatially resolved human whole-cell model from experimental structural and morphological data. The model was complemented with a reaction network to describe mRNA splicing, the process that readies RNA transcripts for translation to proteins. They then performed stochastic reaction–diffusion simulations of the cell for up to 15 minutes of biological time. They found that localization of splicing components in liquid organelles, called speckles, leads to amplification of mRNA splicing and reduction in the transcript noise. Furthermore, such compartmentalization is critical for the yield of correctly assembled splicing components. Their model also predicts that the distance between genes and speckles has a considerable effect on the mRNA production rate. The in silico human cell model, which includes the full richness of organelles and sub-compartments, provides a powerful tool for understanding how cell biology emerges from a spatio-temporal network of coupled chemical reactions.

This event was published on April 30, 2021.

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