The Cellular Dynamics Program (CDP) at the MBL aims to accelerate the knowledge of basic biology and disease through the development and application of biophysical methods customized to shed light on life’s most essential processes.

CDP is composed of several independent laboratories, notably those with a specialization in imaging and cell physiology and biochemistry. Additionally the program houses the NIH:NCRR national resource, the BioCurrents Research Center. The CDP imaging component focuses on the architectural dynamics of living cells, which encompass the timely and coordinated assembly and disassembly of macromolecular structures essential for the proper functioning and differentiation of cells, the spatial and temporal organization of these structures, and their physiological and genetic control. The molecular physiology component, in pursuing studies of cell metabolism and transport biophysics, has pioneered the use of electrochemical sensors to define the chemical signatures surrounding living cells and tissues, opening insights to cell function from a distance.

Recent Submissions

  • Spatial variation of microtubule depolymerization in large asters 

    Ishihara, Keisuke; Decker, Franziska; Caldas, Paulo; Pelletier, James F.; Loose, Martin; Brugués, Jan; Mitchison, Timothy J. (American Society for Cell Biology, 2021-04-19)
    Microtubule plus-end depolymerization rate is a potentially important target of physiological regulation, but it has been challenging to measure, so its role in spatial organization is poorly understood. Here we apply a ...
  • Microfluidic encapsulation of Xenopus laevis cell-free extracts using hydrogel photolithography 

    Geisterfer, Zachary M.; Oakey, John; Gatlin, Jesse C. (Cell Press, 2020-12-18)
    Cell-free extract derived from the eggs of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis is a well-established model system that has been used historically in bulk aliquots. Here, we describe a microfluidic approach for isolating ...
  • The hierarchical assembly of septins revealed by high-speed AFM 

    Jiao, Fang; Cannon, Kevin S.; Lin, Yi-Chih; Gladfelter, Amy S.; Scheuring, Simon (Nature Research, 2020-10-08)
    Septins are GTP-binding proteins involved in diverse cellular processes including division and membrane remodeling. Septins form linear, palindromic heteromeric complexes that can assemble in filaments and higher-order ...
  • Phosphoregulation provides specificity to biomolecular condensates in the cell cycle and cell polarity 

    Gerbich, Therese M.; McLaughlin, Grace A.; Cassidy, Katelyn; Gerber, Scott; Adalsteinsson, David; Gladfelter, Amy S. (Rockefeller University Press, 2020-07-06)
    Biomolecular condensation is a way of organizing cytosol in which proteins and nucleic acids coassemble into compartments. In the multinucleate filamentous fungus Ashbya gossypii, the RNA-binding protein Whi3 regulates the ...
  • Variation in genome content and predatory phenotypes between Bdellovibrio sp. NC01 isolated from soil and B. bacteriovorus type strain HD100 

    Williams, Laura E.; Cullen, Nicole; DeGiorgis, Joseph A.; Martinez, Karla J.; Mellone, Justina; Oser, Molly; Wang, Jing; Zhang, Ying (Microbiology Society, 2019-12-01)
    Defining phenotypic and associated genotypic variation among Bdellovibrio may further our understanding of how this genus attacks and kills different Gram-negative bacteria. We isolated Bdellovibrio sp. NC01 from soil. ...
  • Fungi in the Marine Environment: Open Questions and Unsolved Problems 

    Amend, Anthony; Burgaud, Gaëtan; Cunliffe, Michael; Edgcomb, Virginia P.; Ettinger, Cassandra L.; Gutiérrez, M. H.; Heitman, Joseph; Hom, Erik F. Y.; Ianiri, Giuseppe; Jones, Adam C.; Kagami, Maiko; Picard, Kathryn T.; Quandt, C. Alisha; Raghukumar, Seshagiri; Riquelme, Mertixell; Stajich, Jason; Vargas-Muñiz, José; Walker, Allison K.; Yarden, Oded; Gladfelter, Amy S. (American Society for Microbiology, 2019-03-05)
    Terrestrial fungi play critical roles in nutrient cycling and food webs and can shape macroorganism communities as parasites and mutualists. Although estimates for the number of fungal species on the planet range from 1.5 ...
  • Colloid osmotic parameterization and measurement of subcellular crowding 

    Mitchison, Timothy J. (American Society for Cell Biology, 2019-01-14)
    Crowding of the subcellular environment by macromolecules is thought to promote protein aggregation and phase separation. A challenge is how to parameterize the degree of crowding of the cell interior or artificial solutions ...
  • An amphipathic helix enables septins to sense micrometer-scale membrane curvature 

    Cannon, Kevin S.; Woods, Benjamin L.; Crutchley, John M.; Gladfelter, Amy S. (Rockefeller University Press, 2019-01-18)
    Cell shape is well described by membrane curvature. Septins are filament-forming, GTP-binding proteins that assemble on positive, micrometer-scale curvatures. Here, we examine the molecular basis of curvature sensing by ...
  • A size-invariant bud-duration timer enables robustness in yeast cell size control 

    Allard, Corey A. H.; Decker, Franziska; Weiner, Orion; Toettcher, Jared E.; Graziano, Brian R. (2018-12-21)
    Cell populations across nearly all forms of life generally maintain a characteristic cell type-dependent size, but how size control is achieved has been a long-standing question. The G1/S boundary of the cell cycle serves ...
  • Vegetation indices do not capture forest cover variation in Upland Siberian Larch Forests 

    Loranty, Michael M.; Davydov, Sergey P.; Kropp, Heather; Alexander, Heather D.; Mack, Michelle C.; Natali, Susan M.; Zimov, Nikita S. (MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland, 2018-10-25)
    Boreal forests are changing in response to climate, with potentially important feedbacks to regional and global climate through altered carbon cycle and albedo dynamics. These feedback processes will be affected by vegetation ...
  • Prey range and genome evolution of Halobacteriovorax marinus predatory bacteria from an estuary 

    Enos, Brett G.; Anthony, Molly K.; DeGiorgis, Joseph A.; Williams, Laura E. (American Society for Microbiology, 2018-01-10)
    Halobacteriovorax strains are saltwater-adapted predatory bacteria that attack Gram-negative bacteria and may play an important role in shaping microbial communities. To understand how Halobacteriovorax strains impact ...
  • Quantification of collagen organization in histopathology samples using liquid crystal based polarization microscopy 

    Keikhosravi, Adib; Liu, Yuming; Drifka, Cole; Woo, Kaitlin M.; Verma, Amitabh; Oldenbourg, Rudolf; Eliceiri, Kevin (The Optical Society, 2017-08-29)
    A number of histopathology studies have utilized the label free microscopy method of Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) to investigate collagen organization in disease onset and progression. Here we explored an alternative ...
  • Achiral symmetry breaking and positive Gaussian modulus lead to scalloped colloidal membranes 

    Gibaud, Thomas; Kaplan, C. Nadir; Sharma, Prerna; Ward, Andrew; Zakhary, Mark J.; Oldenbourg, Rudolf; Meyer, Robert B.; Kamien, Randall D.; Powers, Thomas R.; Dogic, Zvonimir (2016-11)
    In the presence of a non-adsorbing polymer, monodisperse rod-like particles assemble into colloidal membranes, which are one rod-length thick liquid-like monolayers of aligned rods. Unlike 3D edgeless bilayer vesicles, ...
  • Mapping optical path length and image enhancement using quantitative orientation-independent differential interference contrast microscopy 

    Shribak, Michael; Larkin, Kieran G.; Biggs, David (SPIE, 2017-01-06)
    We describe the principles of using orientation-independent differential interference contrast (OI-DIC) microscopy for mapping optical path length (OPL). Computation of the scalar two-dimensional OPL map is based on an ...
  • Living cells and dynamic molecules observed with the polarized light microscope : the legacy of Shinya Inoué 

    Tani, Tomomi; Shribak, Michael; Oldenbourg, Rudolf (Marine Biological Laboratory, 2016-08)
    In 1948, Shinya Inoué arrived in the United States for graduate studies at Princeton. A year later he came to Woods Hole, starting a long tradition of summer research at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), which quickly ...
  • Multiplexed spectral imaging of 120 different fluorescent labels 

    Valm, Alex M.; Oldenbourg, Rudolf; Borisy, Gary G. (Public Library of Science, 2016-07-08)
    The number of fluorescent labels that can unambiguously be distinguished in a single image when acquired through band pass filters is severely limited by the spectral overlap of available fluorophores. The recent development ...
  • How nontraditional model systems can save us 

    Gladfelter, Amy S. (American Society for Cell Biology, 2015-11-01)
    In this essay I would like to highlight how work in nontraditional model systems is an imperative for our society to prepare for problems we do not even know exist. I present examples of how discovery in nontraditional ...
  • Polychromatic polarization microscope : bringing colors to a colorless world 

    Shribak, Michael (Nature Publishing Group, 2015-11-27)
    Interference of two combined white light beams produces Newton colors if one of the beams is retarded relative to the other by from 400 nm to 2000 nm. In this case the corresponding interfering spectral components are added ...
  • Massive bioaccumulation and self-assembly of phenazine compounds in live cells 

    Min, Kyoung Ah; Rajeswaran, Walajapet G.; Oldenbourg, Rudolf; Harris, Grant; Keswani, Rahul K.; Chiang, Mason; Rzeczycki, Phillip; Talattof, Arjang; Hafeez, Mahwish; Horobin, Richard W.; Larsen, Scott D.; Stringer, Kathleen A.; Rosania, Gus R. (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-06-05)
    Clofazimine is an orally administered drug that massively bioaccumulates in macrophages, forming membrane-bound intracellular structures possessing nanoscale supramolecular features. Here, a library of phenazine compounds ...
  • Arp2/3 complex inhibition radically alters lamellipodial actin architecture, suspended cell shape, and the cell spreading process 

    Henson, John H.; Yeterian, Mesrob; Weeks, Richard M.; Medrano, Angela E.; Brown, Briana L.; Geist, Heather L.; Pais, Mollyann D.; Oldenbourg, Rudolf; Shuster, Charles B. (American Society for Cell Biology, 2015-01-07)
    Recent studies have investigated the dendritic actin cytoskeleton of the cell edge's lamellipodial (LP) region by experimentally decreasing the activity of the actin filament nucleator and branch former, the Arp2/3 complex. ...

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