My lab studies the physics of soft matter. Currently we study the mechanics of active soft matter, both as model systems, and as the material of the living biological cell. We investigate the mechanics of active matter by carrying out experiments on microscopic dynamics of in vitro reconstituted cytoskeleton and nucleoskeleton networks. We use similar soft matter physics approaches to address questions regarding the mechanics of the cell's active materials during mitosis and gene transcription. These cellular processes involve the cell's most impressive driving machinery. We are also interested in the robustness of cellular processes in the face of noise, and investigate the fidelity of gene transcription in a modified mechanical environment to address this question.
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Maria Kilfoil Lab.