Nice job, Daniel!
Daniel J. Cohen, W. James Nelson & Michel M. Maharbiz
Nature Materials (2014) doi:10.1038/nmat3891
Many normal and pathological biological processes involve the migration of epithelial cell sheets. This arises from complex emergent behaviour resulting from the interplay between cellular signalling networks and the forces that physically couple the cells. Here, we demonstrate that collective migration of an epithelium can be interactively guided by applying electric fields that bias the underlying signalling networks. We show that complex, spatiotemporal cues are locally interpreted by the epithelium, resulting in rapid, coordinated responses such as a collective U-turn, divergent migration, and unchecked migration against an obstacle. We observed that the degree of external control depends on the size and shape of the cell population, and on the existence of physical coupling between cells. Together, our results offer design and engineering principles for the rational manipulation of the collective behaviour and material properties of a tissue.
Konlin is pursuing a Ph.D. in EECS at University of California, Berkeley with an emphasis in neuroengineering. He received his B.A. in Physics with a secondary in Computer Science from Harvard University in 2013. His undergraduate research focused on how simple organisms such as C. elegans and fruit flies integrate sensory stimuli into motor behavior.
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Jonathan comes to us from Princeton University, where he recently received a Ph. D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. His Ph. D research centered on the theory and applications of a numerical method called dynamic mode decomposition, which is used in the fluid mechanics community to analyze high-dimensional datasets that describe nonlinear dynamics. Prior to that, Jonathan studied at the University of Washington, where he earned a B. S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as a B. S. in Mathematics. His various awards include the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Princeton Wu Prize for Excellence.