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Some assembly required: In vitro reconstitution of cellular structures

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Understanding the molecular basis of cellular behavior is a central goal in biology and a critical guide for medical research. Increasing knowledge of the essential proteins in a complex processes such as crawling motility and cell division raises the tantalizing question: Do we know enough to build it? Progress towards reconstitution of micron-scale cellular structures and processes has been limited by the challenges of generating in vitro systems that capture the spatial organization, physical constraints, and dynamics of living cells. This talk will describe on-going efforts to create functional reconstitutions of cytoskeletal and membrane processes involved in cellular protrusions and shape change. The lessons of what works – and what doesn’t – are helping to guide efforts to build biological systems from the bottom up.

This talk is part of the Foster Talks series.

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