Mathematical Biology seminar

Wallace Marshall
University of California, San Francisco
"How Cells Count and Measure"
August 31, 2005

Although genomic and proteomic methods are rapidly revealing the complete molecular "parts list" of the cell, the question remains of how these parts are arranged into defined cellular stuctures is still mysterious. What determines the size of cellular sub-structures? What determines how many copies of each structure a cell contains? The ability of cells to regulate the size and copy number of their sub-structures (organelles) suggests that cells may posess mechanisms for counting and measuring. We are attempting to understand these mechanisms by studying two model systems - length control of eukaryotic flagella, and copy number control during centriole inheritance.