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FACULTY Christoph Haselwandter

Name: Christoph Haselwandter

Email: cah77@usc.edu

Project title: Gating mechanosensitive membrane proteins

Position description:

This interdisciplinary project explores the theoretical physics underlying the ability of cells to sense and to respond to mechanical stimuli in their external environment. A paradigm of mechanosensation is provided by mechanosensitive ion channels found in the cell membranes of bacteria such as E. coli. The proposed research explores the physical mechanisms allowing mechanosensitive ion channels to switch between open and closed channel states depending on the tension of the cell membrane.

Required skills:

The project requires a strong physical and mathematical background, and a strong desire to delve into the biological phenomenology of mechanosensation. See also http://cargocollective.com/cahaselwandter.

Prerequisites:

Advanced calculus and physics

Preferred major: Science and engineering