Topics in Bioengineering

Mind the gap: Mechanics and Signaling at Cell-cell Contacts

Daniel A. Fletcher (UC Berkeley)

Nov 2, 2023

Cell surfaces present a diverse collection of lipids, proteins, and glycans that mediate interactions with the extracellular environment. Interfaces formed at junctions between cells are often associated with characteristic patterns of membrane protein organization. How cell surface molecules achieve this organization and what role it plays in downstream signaling underlies key aspects of tissue formation, target recognition by immune cells, and pathogen entry. This talk will introduce new methods for characterizing and manipulating cell surfaces to explore mechanisms of cell-cell contact formation, using examples from immunology and development.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Dan Fletcher is the Chatterjee Professor of Bioengineering & Biophysics at UC Berkeley. He and his laboratory study membrane and cytoskeletal organization in the context of cell motility and signaling, with applications to immunology, virology, and cancer biology. His lab also develops mobile phone-based microscopes that are being used to detect infectious diseases in developing countries. Dr. Fletcher received a B.S. from Princeton University, a D.Phil. from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. He is a Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator, Visiting Investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Virology, Faculty Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Faculty Director of the Blum Center for Developing Economies.


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Ester Ramírez