***Please note different location to usual***
Date: 21 November 2014
Location: Curtin University, Exhibition Space, Building 500, Room 1102
Speaker: Andrew Pelling, visiting Raine Professor
Living cells possess an exquisite ability to sense and respond to physical information in their microenvironment. This ability plays a key role in many fundamentally important physiological and pathological processes. I will describe our work utilizing a variety of strategies to use physical cues to guide and direct cell biology. These include exposing to mechanical stimuli, altering the geometric shape of the microenvironment and even growing mammalian cells inside of fruits and vegetables. Our work has demonstrated how physical cues can be employed to re-purpose and manipulate numerous biological processes. Examining the responses of cells to highly artificial physical cues, that are unlikely to exist in vivo, reveal novel cellular behaviours. These responses to physical cues are not simply a side-product of biology but are key components of evolutionary biological and physical feedback loops that govern the life of a cell.
Andrew E. Pelling is an associate professor cross-appointed in the Departments of Physics and Biology at the University of Ottawa. Currently, Andrew is a Raine Medical Research Foundation Visiting Professor at the University of Western Australia. He was named a Canada Research Chair in 2008, received an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement Award in 2009 and an Ontario Early Researcher in 2010. In 2013, Andrew was also elected a member of the Global Young Academy. Andrew completed his undergraduate studies at University of Toronto (1997-2001), his PhD under the supervision of James K. Gimzewski at the University of California, Los Angeles (2001-2005) and his post-doctoral research as a Senior Research Fellow at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, University College London with Michael A. Horton (2005-2008). Andrew leads the Pelling Lab for Biophysical Manipulation, which is an exploratory space dedicated to understanding the limits of living systems. The lab is composed of a diverse group of scientists open to the possibilities that occur at the interface between disciplines. They are generally interested in understanding how living cells can be controlled, manipulated and re-purposed using non-genetic and non-pharmacological approaches. By pushing these systems to highly artificial limits the lab has discovered an astonishing ability of cells to adapt and respond to unusual stimuli. This work has led to a deeper understanding of the role physical cues play in governing fundamental cell biophysics, stem cell fate, cancer cell biology and muscular diseases. Andrew’s work is highly collaborative and exploratory and is always open to new directions and ideas.
Date: 28 November 2014
Speaker: Cat Jones
12 December Audrey Bester