Physics ABC Seminar: by Prof. Peter Kekenes-Huskey, Loyola University Chicago

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Date: December 8, 2020
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom
Category: Seminar

Speaker: Prof. Peter Kekenes-Huskey, Department of Cell & Molecular Physiology, Loyola University Chicago

Small molecule diffusion and reactions in complex environments

Molecular signaling is a multi-scale phenomenon that relies on the transport of substrates along chemical potential gradients and within crowded or confined spaces. Signaling occurs within biological environments including cellular compartments, cells and tissue, for which interactions between proteins, substrates, and the cellular environment impose significant temporal and spatial constraints on diffusion. These constraints can lead to markedly different dynamics in biological environments in contrast to a ‘well-mixed’ in vitro system. Yet quantifying the influence of atomistic- to micron-scale structural features of the solute and environment, including electrostatic interactions and friction, presents a considerable challenge to modeling and experimental inquiry. Recent mathematical and numerical developments are providing the foundation for multi-scale examination of diffusion-controlled processes and have yielded considerable insight into biological signaling. In this talk, I will present some of these methodologies, and their application to micron-scale diffusional anisotropy in an abiological system and a mock intercellular synapse.


Zhi-Feng Huang