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Alexander Dunn - Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Dunn's current research is on the generation of force and motion inside living cells. Almost all the work in understanding how motor proteins work has been done under highly artificial conditions, abstracted from the cellular milieu in which the proteins actually work. Recent results demonstrate that the internal structure of the cell is pre-tensioned, and that generating, releasing, and sensing this tension is a key element in controlling how the cell reacts to its environment. They will observe single motors at work inside living cells. Our goal is to understand how the cell generates, detects, and manages tension at the molecular level. The results from this project will be highly relevant to many aspects of human health, including heart disease, cancer metastasis, and the development of stem cell therapies.