Widely Applied Mathematics Seminars

Self-organisation and pattern formation in cellular systems

Erwin Frey

Apr 14, 2022
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm | Remote

Protein pattern formation is essential for the spatial organization of many intracellular processes like cell division, flagellum positioning, and chemotaxis. A prominent example of intracellular patterns is the oscillatory pole-to-pole oscillations of Min proteins in E. coli whose biological function is to ensure precise cell division. Cell polarization, a prerequisite for processes such as stem cell differentiation and cell polarity in yeast, is also mediated by a diffusion-reaction process. More generally, these functional modules of cells serve as model systems for self-organization, one of the core principles of life. Under which conditions spatio-temporal patterns emerge, and how these patterns are regulated by biochemical and geometrical factors are major aspects of current research. In this talk I will review recent theoretical and experimental advances in the field of intracellular pattern formation, focusing on general design principles and fundamental physical mechanisms.

Speaker Bio

Erwin Frey is a full professor and Chair for Statistical and Biological Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Previously, he was Director of the Theoretical Physics Department at the Hahn-Meitner-Institut in Berlin, and was also a 2019 Kavli Chair at TU Delft. The research of the Frey group focuses on collective effects in the dynamics of complex systems, e.g., how the interplay between stochastic fluctuations, interactions, and geometry shapes system-level properties and their functional characteristics.


David Nelson


Changyeob Baek

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