April 18, 2014

The Irvin Isenberg Lectureship: “Actin cortex mechanics and cell shape control during cytokinesis”

Date(s) - 06/22/2012
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Lillie Auditorium

The Irvin Isenberg Lectureship
“Actin cortex mechanics and cell shape control during cytokinesis”
Ewa Paluch, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
June 22, Lillie Auditorium, 9:00 AM

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Ewa PaluchEwa Paluch is a Joint MPI-CBG/PAN Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), Dresden, Germany and the International Institute of Molecular Cell Biology (IIMCB), Warsaw, Poland.  She received her Ph.D. from the Curie Institute in Paris under the shared supervision of Cécile Sykes and Michel Bornens, investigating actin networks mechanics in vitro and in simplified cellular systems. She graduated in 2005 and moved to Dresden in 2006 to start her Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics. Her position is a joint appointment by the Max Planck Society and the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the group, based in Dresden, has a dual affiliation reflecting the strong bonds between the Max Planck Society and Poland. Her lab investigates the principles underlying cellular morphogenesis. Since cell shape is ultimately defined by cellular mechanical properties and by the cell’s physical interactions with its environment, biophysical approaches are essential to understanding cell shape control. The lab combines cell biology, biophysics and quantitative imaging, and works in close collaboration with theoretical physicists to investigate the regulation of the cellular actin cortex and the function of cortical mechanics in cell shape regulation. A particular focus of the lab has been the formation of blebs and their function in cell division and migration.



The Irvin Isenberg Memorial Lectureship was established in memory of Dr. Isenberg, whose distinguished career as a biophysicist began at the Marine Biological Laboratory.  In 1950, Dr. Isenberg completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Pennsylvania and later developed an interest in biophysics while serving as a lecturer at the University of Chicago. In 1957, Dr. Isenberg and his family moved to Woods Hole, where he joined Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi in his Institute for Muscle Research. Together they studied charge transfer reactions and free radicals using one of the early electron spin resonance instruments available in the United States. Dr. Isenberg also conducted research on fluorescence and phosphorescence of DNA before leaving the MBL in 1965 to become Professor of Biophysics and Biochemistry at Oregon State University. There he developed his primary research interest in the structure and function of histones.  The Isenberg family returned to Woods Hole every summer to rejoin beloved friends and to remain active participants in the scientific life of the community. Dr. Isenberg devoted his life to science and is remembered for instilling a strong sense of intellectual curiosity and integrity in the pursuit of scientific truth among his students. Today, we celebrate Dr. Isenberg’s legacy by dedicating this lecture in his honor.