Forces on Everything Everywhere All at Once

Speaker Name/Affiliation
Glen Hocky / New York University
Location (Room)
JILA Auditorium
Event Details & Abstracts

Abstract: In order to perform some of their most important functions, cells must be able to generate, sense, and respond to mechanical forces. Many mechanosensing proteins have been discovered that are believed to change their behavior in a predictable and repeatable way when they are under mechanical tension. Yet, in most of these cases, we don't know the molecular details of how this force shifts the conformations adopted by the protein, or how this then leads to a concomitant change in function. The molecular basis of mechanosensing can in principle be predicted using molecular simulation techniques, however this approach has either not been employed or not been successful because of the small magnitude of forces involved and the large size and complexity of the mechanosensors. In this talk, I will discuss our efforts to develop molecular simulation techniques to overcome this challenge, and applications to mechanically sensitive processes in biology and in soft matter physics.