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Special seminar series: Madan Rao

The next speaker of our Special seminar series is Madan Rao, Professor at the National Centre for biological sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore, India. He will talk about “Active Composite Cell Surface : Mechanics of Information Processing”.

About the conference

The processing of information at the cell surface requires the regulation and control of the spatial and temporal distribution of signaling proteins. We will pose a generic optimization problem that may be encountered by the cell – namely that of estimation of an external signal that varies in space and time. We will show that this optimization leads to specific organization of signaling proteins. This organization is a natural outcome of the active composite model of the cell surface, wherein cell surface molecules are organised at multiple scales by their coupling to a thin cortical actomyosin layer, which  actively drives local cell membrane composition and shape.

About the speaker

Madan Rao is a theoretical physicists who started in statistical physics, mostly of soft matter systems and now works on  non-equilibrium systems, notably biological systems. He is faculty member of the NCBS, Bangalore and specifically works on the active organization and dynamics of molecules at the cell surface, shape dynamics in membranes coupled to the active cytoskeleton, Golgi and Mitochondrial morphogenesis and remodelling and many other cell biological problems.

Some publications of the speaker

1. A. Maitra, P. Srivastava, M. Rao and S. Ramaswamy, “Activating membranes“, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 258101 (2014).
2. G. Iyengar and M. Rao, “A Cellular Solution to an Information Processing Problem“, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sc. 111, 12402-12407 (2014).
3. M. Rao and S. Mayor, “Active organization of membrane constituents in living cells“, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 29, 126-132 (2014).