Professor Maria Kilfoil
Department of Physics
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Hasbrouck Laboratory Room 405A
Amherst, MA 01003

The science in the Kilfoil lab

The cell is the simplest entity that exhibits the characteristics of life, and many of these characteristics rely on the cell's mechanical properties. The biological physics projects in the Kilfoil research group all involve advanced microscopy methods to study dynamics as a direct probe of mechanical aspects of the cell. We investigate the role of forces in mitosis by studying how the biopolymer molecules comprising chromatin and the cytoskeleton, together with the force generators and constraints, coordinate the spindle dynamics in budding yeast; and we study mechanics of the cytoskeleton via microrheology of in vitro reconstituted actin-microtubule networks.