Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program Round 1 - 2000

Todd Smith, Physics
Julie Theriot, Biochemistry

The cytoskeleton of eukaryotic cells provides internal structure, controls shape, and can enable movement from one location to another. Some bacteria have developed the ability to use a host cell's cytoskeleton to push themselves within and between cells.

This work is aimed at understanding actin-based motility of the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes through experimental observations of vesicle membrane deformation due to actin and direct force measurements of the polymerization process.