Anders Carlsson, Ph.D., is Professor of Physics at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a Co-Lead of the CEMB Working Group 1.
The Carlsson Research Group is focused on modeling the polymerization processes underlying bending of cell membranes. Processes such as membrane protrusion, endocytosis, cell division, and cell migration often involve polymerization and depolymerization of the protein actin. This protein forms long, fairly stiff filaments, whose growth can supply the mechanical force necessary for membrane bending. The filaments are often found in branched or cross-linked networks. The modeling work treats these phenomena with methods including Brownian-dynamics and stochastic-growth simulations, and analytic theory. The main goals of the modeling are to explain how actin generates large pulling forces, to pin down the negative-feedback interactions that are present between actin and its nucleators, and to establish how type-I myosins can aid force generation. This work is being performed in collaboration with Professor John Cooper at the Washington University School of Medicine.
Keywords: membrane bending; actin; Brownian-dynamics; stochastic-growth simulation; analytic theory; mechanobiology
Working Group(s): Working Group 1: How do cells sense their mechanical environment?