Department of Chemical Engineering
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
P.O.B 653 Beer-Sheva
Tel : 972-8-6472149
1995-July2000 Ph.D., faculty of Chemical Engineering, Technion.
1994-1995: D.E.A – Pre-doctoral studies in Bordeaux University I, Bordeaux France.
1990-1994: B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering Dept. in the Technion, Haifa, Israel.
Biophysics of the cytoskeleton
Living cells have remarkable mechanical properties. In addition to passive response to mechanical stresses, eucaryotic cells are also able to actively change their shapes, to generate forces and movement. These properties can be mainly attributed to the mechanical and dynamical properties of the cell cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton is a complex network of elastic protein filaments, which consists mostly of actin filaments and microtubules. Various other cytoskeletal proteins control the filament lengths, their spatial organization and their dynamics. Among these are molecular motor proteins, which utilize ATP hydrolysis to produce a driving force and a movement along the cytoskeleton filaments. These motors have specific functions, some of them transport cargoes such as chromosomes or vesicles, while others form oligomeric complexes that can bind to, and create relative movement between two filaments. The characterization of spatial and temporal properties of motor-filaments active systems is fundamental for the comprehension of various cell activities such as: cell division, cell movement, and a response to external stresses. While the subject of passive filaments solution was extensively studied, active filaments-motor systems started to gain attention only recently. In vitro information on the self-assembly of the different components is required in order to understand the processes which take place in living cells. The cellular structures are established and maintained by a dynamic interplay between assembly and regulatory processes. The self-organization of molecular components provides a spectrum of possible spatial structures, the regulatory machinery selects the most appropriate one to express a particular cellular function.