Oscillatory instabilities of intracellular fiber networks
This project is focused on spatiotemporal pattern formation in the actin cytoskeleton of motile amoeboid cells. First, we will analyze patterns that spontaneously emerge in the cell cortex. We will establish a complete three-dimensional picture of cortical actin dynamics and elucidate the regulatory mechanisms and biological functions of these patterns. Second, we will actively manipulate and control spatiotemporal actin patterns by localized cues that we will deliver using novel light-induced uncaging techniques. In the long term, our results will provide the basis for understanding and actively controlling actin-mediated cellular functions.