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Living cells are often mistakenly viewed as functioning through a clockwork-like set of interactions among their biomolecular building blocks, like machines on a factory floor. But the processes taking place within cells are vastly more wet, dynamic, and seemingly random than many textbooks would have us believe. Over the last decade, research combining insights from materials physics and cell biology has uncovered a new principle by which this chaotic intracellular environment is brought to order, through the collective condensation of disordered biomolecules into dew drops. These liquid states of living matter facilitate dozens of different biological processes and appear to underlie various cancers and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and ALS. In this talk, Dr. Brangwynne will discuss the central role that the MBL played in birthing this new field, starting from seeds planted over a century ago, by some of the laboratory’s first scientists. The fruits of this interdisciplinary synthesis are transforming biology, with tremendous potential for human health. Cliff Brangwynne is an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the June K. Wu ’92 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Director of the Bioengineering Initiative at Princeton University. He studied materials science and physics as an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University, earned his Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Harvard University, and was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow at Max Planck Institutes in Dresden, Germany. His pioneering work revealed that condensed forms of biomolecular liquids organize a wide variety of processes within living cells, a discovery that has been recognized with numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Searle Scholar Award, Wiley Prize, and the HFSP Nakasone Award. Dr. Brangwynne is an alumnus of the MBL Physiology course and has served on its faculty. He has also been a MBL Whitman Scientist.
  • Start:July 09, 2021 Time: 8:00 PM
  • End:July 09, 2021 Time: 9:00 PM
  • Recurring
  • Where:The Cornelia Clapp Auditorium, Marine Biological Laboratory, 7 MBL Street, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States, 02543
  • Phone:N/A
  • Event Type: Other
  • Ticket Price:N/A


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