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Biophysical mapping of health and disease

Time: Thu 2021-09-30 09.15 - 10.00

Location: Zoom

Participating: Ass. Prof. Erdinc Sezgin, SciLifeLab, Dept of Womens and Children’s Health, KI

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In complex, multi-component systems like cells, the system is always more than the sum of its components due to emergent collective properties. It is becoming clearer that collective biophysical principles can serve as the “cause” of many cellular processes rather than being only passive “consequences”. Moreover, biophysical properties can vary without notable changes in protein or RNA levels in cells. Therefore, these physical properties can be exploited as complementary of current protein or nucleic acid markers to diagnose and treat diseases.

Plasma membrane is particularly an interesting structure: it is the first hub for many cellular events; it is >1000 component system with liquid nature; and its biophysical properties contribute to its function in health and disease. We developed advanced imaging, chemical biology and synthetic biology tools to study collective biophysical properties of cellular membranes and their role in cellular physiology. I will summarize our recent technologies and how they helped us solve the mysteries of plasma membrane and its role in health and disease.