We are a computational cell biology group studying biophysical mechanisms of intracellular morphogenesis using mathematical modeling as our major tool. Biological cells dynamically create, maintain and disassemble various structures, such as filopodia, cytokinetic contractile rings or focal adhesions. We want to understand how the cells decide where and when to form them, how the cells control the size, number and even spacing between these structures. Emergence of cell polarity, by means of which cells acquire morphologically distinct “front” and “back”, is one such intriguing problem that keeps us busy. We model biochemical reactions, molecular transport, membrane dynamics and even change in the cell shape mostly using well-developed machinery of reaction-diffusion equations. However, we are always on the outlook for new methods and develop some novel modeling approaches ourselves. We work on a variety of biological systems in close collaboration with the leading experimental cell biology labs worldwide. This multi-system, cross-disciplinary approach allows us to reveal the common principles and molecular mechanisms of cellular morphogenesis.
We are a part of the Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology, SynthSys, which is located in the bright new C.H. Waddington Building on the King’s Campus of the University of Edinburgh. We are also a part of the Institute of Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences and are in close proximity from the collaborating Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology.