SSO Seminar
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 16:00 to 17:00
Weniger 304
Event Speaker: 
David Altman, Willamette University
Local Contact: 

Generation of force is critical for many processes in the cell. Central to these are molecular motors, biomolecules capable of creating directed motion. My lab studies myosins, a molecular motor family with members implicated in processes including muscle contraction, trafficking of cargo in the cell, and cell motility. Specifically, we seek to understand how the complex cellular environment regulates these motors. To this end, we study both purified myosins outside the cell as well as myosin motors within their cellular niche. This approach requires us to probe myosin activity at a variety of sizes and in systems of varying complexity. For example, we study both the small-scale motions (one-billionth of a meter) of individual motors, as well as the relatively large motions (one-thousandth of a meter) of ensembles of myosins in muscle fibers. In this talk, I will describe some of these studies and discuss how our results are beginning to reveal important factors in the regulation of myosins in the cell.