A quantitative approach towards understanding spindle shape
The spindle apparatus is a fascinating subcellular molecular machine exhibiting complex biophysical properties. The spindle organizes itself from a handful of fundamental components and is highly dynamic. From a biological point of view, correct spindle shape and size are essential for it to successfully perform its primary function of segregating chromosomes during cell division. In the last few decades, several key discoveries have provided a strong molecular and biochemical basis to comprehend the inner workings of the spindle and its dynamic components. However, despite calling it a “spindle” we still do not understand why it is shaped the way it is and how it maintains its unique form.
The primary aim of my project is to gain a better understanding of the forces that influence the shape of the spindle apparatus. To do so, I am combining physical and biochemical perturbation experiments along with advanced microscopy techniques to quantify both active and passive spindle forces. I then plan on using this data to generate a “spindle force map” that will provide a global view of the force generating components governing the macroscopic properties of spindles. Ultimately, the outcome of my project will help establish novel ways to evaluate the critical property of shape in sub-cellular multi-protein ensembles.
Before joining the Reber lab I worked in Heidelberg on quantifying chromatin dynamics using super resolution microscopy. I have a strong interest in everything related to microscopy and dynamic biological processes, and have a background in Biotechnology and Biophysics. If not found tinkering with the microscope you’ll find me scouring the city trying to satisfy my insatiable epicurean desires or contemplating about which side of “The Force” to join that day.