Biology & Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Joint Seminar - Dr. Andrew Lombardo - "Regulation of Cellular Shape, Function, and Polarity Through Actin Cytoskeletal Organization in Human Epithelial Cells"

Thursday, January 19, 2023
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

60 Prescott Street
Worcester, MA 01605
United States

Floor/Room #

Regulation of Cellular Shape, Function, and Polarity Through Actin Cytoskeletal Organization in Human Epithelial Cells” 

headshot of visiting speaker Andrew Lombardo

 Dr. Andrew Lombardo 

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bretscher Lab, Weill Institute for Cell & Molecular Biology, Cornell University 

Thursday, January 19th @ 12pm 

Gateway 1002 

Pizza will be served!

Abstract: The polarity of cells is a basic biological necessity where cells form an intrinsic asymmetry and is required for differentiation, cell division, and motility. However, how human cells polarize is complex and critical gaps in understanding persist. Specifically, how cells build immediate adjacent (<100nm) yet distinct polarized morphological structures remain poorly understood.  The underlying organizer of polarized cell shape is the cytoskeleton, where filamentous-actin (F-actin), microtubules, and intermediate filaments collaborate for spatial and temporal governance. Actin filaments interact intimately with the plasma membrane and serve multiple roles to simultaneously define and regulate the cell's physical structure, act as the tracks for intracellular trafficking, and detect externally applied forces. Additionally, myosin motors are associated with all actin networks where they apply and transduce forces. In this seminar, I will discuss my research to uncover the underlying molecular mechanisms governing cell polarity and understand the mechanobiology driving cell morphology. I'll present the key experiments answering long-standing questions in my field by using a systems biology approach and combining two powerful disciplines: 1) Top-down CRISPR/Cas9 genetic manipulation of human epithelial cells. 2) Bottom-up biophysical single molecule techniques reconstituting basic molecular mechanisms in vitro. We'll then explore the future work needed to address the basic scientific framework cells use to polarize.  




Biology & Biotechnology
Contact Person
Meng Le