DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICAL AND STATISTICAL SCIENCES

UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA

MATHEMATICAL BIOLOGY SEMINAR

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2004

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

CAB 657

An experimental and theoretical study of the forces involved in mitotic spindle formation

Dr. Eric Cytrynbaum

Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia

Mitosis, the process by which a cell segregates two identical copies of its genome in preparation for division, is fundamental to cell replication and hence to life as we know it. In order to separate the two copies of the genome, a self-assembling protein machine, the mitotic spindle, employs several force generating molecules known as molecular motors. These motors, through interaction with spindle microtubules (semi-rigid protein filaments), aid in spindle assembly as well as chromosome segregation.

In close collaboration with experimentalists, we have developed a quantitative model describing this balance of forces during the process of spindle formation in Drosophila embryos. I will describe the details of the quantitative model and related experimental work.

This seminar is partially funded by PIMS.