UQ-bio Summer School

Franco Tavella

Franco Tavella

University of Michigan

Collaborators: Minjun Jin, University of Michigan; Shiyuan Wang, University of Michigan; Qiong Yang, University of Michigan

Title: In vitro cell cycle oscillations exhibit a robust and hysteretic response to changes in cytoplasmic density

Short Abstract:  The cytoplasm, where most cellular reactions occur, has a variable density. However, we lack an understanding of how density variations affect cellular functions because controlling density experimentally is challenging. Here, we
systematically modulate the density of an in vitro cytoplasm using microfluidics, and analyze how the cell cycle responds. We found that mitotic cycles maintain their function between 0.2× and 1.2× of the natural density. Higher densities arrest cell cycles, and dilution recovers oscillations. However, the density at which cycles reappear is lower than the natural density. This behavior suggests a history-dependent mechanism called hysteresis, common in physics, chemistry, and engineering. Our approach paves the way for studying the responses of other processes to density changes.

Presenter Biosketch: Franco Tavella is doing his PhD in Biophysics at the University of Michigan. Previously he studied Physics at the University of Buenos Aires, in Argentina where he is from. In Qiong Yang’s lab Franco is studying the tunability of biological oscillators using both computational and experimental tools. His main areas of interests are the modeling of biological systems, synthetic biology, and biotechnology.

Link to Full Abstract: Tavella_Franco

Contact: ftavella@umich.edu