Biophysics of Cellular Membranes

Explore concepts of biophysics including thermal conformational fluctuation and thermal diffusion, and consider how cells might take advantage of these physical processes to enable their functions. Discover how the cell membrane system functions in light of these physical processes to fulfil its critical contribution to cell signal transduction and metabolism. With extensive use of student presentations about topics of cellular signaling in the context of cellular cancer biology, immunology, and neurobiology, discuss the dynamic structures of the plasma membrane, including domain structures, tubulovesicular network, endocytosis and exocytosis, and cytoskeletal interactions. Learn methods of single-molecule imaging-tracking and manipulation for directly “seeing” the thermal, stochastic processes exhibited by receptors and downstream signaling molecules during signaling in live cells.

Prerequisites or Prior Knowledge

Biology, chemistry, and/or physics at undergraduate levels