464 Unity Hall
BA Cornell University 2001
PhD Cornell University 2006

I use physical principles at the molecular scale to solve macroscopic problems in biology, e.g. How do a molecule's mechanical properties influence the behavior of a cell?  How do single molecule measurements relate to muscle function?  To answer such questions, I use a combination of computer simulations and mathematical analysis.  This theoretical work is complemented by experiments performed by my collaborators.  In my teaching, I enjoy emphasizing connections between math and other disciplines.

Scholarly Work

Jarvis, K., M. A. Woodward, E. P. Debold and S. Walcott, Acidosis affects muscle contraction by slowing the rates myosin attaches to and detaches from actin. Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motililty. 39(3): 135-147. 2018

Newhard, C. S., S. Walcott, and D. M. Swank, The load-dependence of muscle's force-velocity curve is modulated by alternative myosin converter domains. American Journal of Physiology (Cell Physiology). 316(6): C844-C861. 2019

Lombardo, A.T., S. R. Nelson, G. G. Kennedy, K. M. Trybus, S. Walcott, and D. M. Warshaw, Myosin Va transport of liposomes in three-dimensional actin networks is modulated by actin filament density, position, and polarity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116(17): 8326-8335. 2019

Jarvis, K. J., K. M. Bell, A. K. Loya, D. M. Swank and S. Walcott, Force-velocity and tension transient measurements from Drosophila jump muscle reveal the necessity of both weakly-bound cross-bridges and series elasticity in models of muscle contraction. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 701: 108809. 2021

Walcott, S. and D. M. Warshaw, Modeling myosin Va liposome transport through actin filament networks reveals a percolation threshold that modulates transport properties. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 33(2): ar18. 2022

Worcester Business Journal
WPI professor awarded $1.4M for muscle research

The Worcester Business Journal reports on WPI Mathematical Sciences Professor Sam Walcott’s research to develop a mathematical model for muscle movement that could lead to improved medical treatments and the creation of better prosthetic devices.