The impact of geometry and diffusion barriers in cell polarity and receptor dynamics
Cells perform highly complex functions in relatively short amounts of time. Two illustrative examples are signal transduction and fate decisions, for which the spatial segregation and organization of molecules within cells become essential. The mechanisms through which molecular components happen to be in the right place at the right time have been the focus of considerable scientific research, though key open questions remain. In this seminar, I will discuss recent studies combining cell biology, microscopy and stochastic spatio-temporal modeling and simulation that have helped us elucidate the role of dynamic geometry and barriers in key cellular functions. Discussion will take place through presentation of examples in different cell types.