The Koslover Group Department of Physics, UCSD

Transport and Kinetics in the Intracellular World

The Koslover group is focused on physical modeling of eukaryotic cells. Many of the questions we address center on intracellular transport and dynamics -- how do different components, ranging from molecules to organelles, navigate the complex world inside a living cell? How do cells regulate and optimize transport through a combination of diffusive, motor-driven, and advective modes? How do interactions between organelles contribute to distributing and dispersing cellular components? In addition, we are interested in the impact of mechanical fluctuations on the dynamics of key enzymes in the cell, including those responsible for transcription through packaged chromatin and for severing cytoskeletal actin filaments. To address these questions, we use a combination of pencil-and-paper theoretical modeling together with meso-scale computational simulations that aim to establish the key physical principles and parameters that govern intracellular processes. Much of our work falls at the intersection of biophysics with soft matter physics and the field of stochastic processes. We work closely with experimental collaborators to compare model predictions against data from live cells.

Simulated trajectory of a diffusion particle on a yeast mitochondrial network.

Model for initiation of peroxisome transport via hitchhiking on moving endosomes in a fungal hypha.

Diffusive search times on network structure for a portion of the peripheral endoplasmic reticulum in a mammalian cell.