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Science and Mathematics

Soft Matter and Biophysics Seminar | Length control of long cell protrusions: rulers, timers and transport

June 10, 2022 at 11:00am12:00pm EDT

Physics Building, 202

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Join us for the Soft Matter Seminar on Friday, June 10 at 11:00 a.m. EST.

We will welcome speaker Debashish Chowdhury from the Department of Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur for his topic entitled Length control of long cell protrusions: rulers, timers and transport.


A living cell uses long tubular appendages for locomotion and sensory purposes. Hence, assembling and maintaining a protrusion of correct length is crucial for its survival and overall performance. Usually the protrusions lack the machinery for the synthesis of building blocks and imports them from the cell body. What are the unique features of the transport logistics which facilitate the exchange of these building blocks between the cell body and the protrusion? What kind of ‘rulers’ and ‘timers’ does the cell use for constructing its appendages of correct length on time? How do the multiple appendages coordinate and communicate among themselves during different stages of their existence? How frequently do the fluctuations drive the length of these dynamic protrusions out of the acceptable bounds?  These questions will be addressed from a broad perspective in this talk [1].

[1] Swayamshree Patra, Debashish Chowdhury and Frank J”ulicher, arXiv:
2203.11867 (a comprehensive review article that includes an overview of our own works).

Biography of the Speaker:
Debashish Chowdhury is a senior Professor and a former head of the department of Physics at IIT Kanpur. He has held two terms as an endowed chair professor and since 2013 he has been a J.C. Bose National Fellow awarded by the Science and Engineering Research Board of the government of India. He is an elected fellow of all the three Indian National Science Academies. He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award of IIT Kanpur. His research area is Statistical Biological Physics, particularly stochastic processes, and non-equilibrium phenomena in living systems.



This event was published on May 24, 2022.

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