Institute for the Physics of Living Systems


IOP Tom Duke Prize Lecture on Biological Physics- by Prof. Martin Howard, John Innes Centre

28 January 2015, 3:00 pm–5:00 pm

Event Information

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25 Gordon Street - Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre

Title: Physics in biology: how to set the size of a cell

Abstract: In this talk I will discuss how fission yeast cells control their size, a fundamental question in cell biology. I will propose a theory that explains how this can be performed via an effective measurement of the plasma membrane surface area. Predictions from this theory are then successfully tested in the lab. I will then more briefly discuss a second problem, how low copy number plasmids in bacteria are equally spaced throughout the cell, thereby leading to equal partitioning at cell division. Surprisingly the mechanism at work here may be related to the phenomenon of cell size control. Throughout the talk I will illustrate how ideas and approaches from physics can help to accelerate the discovery of fundamental biological mechanism.

Host: Dr Bart Hoogenboom (b.hoogenboom@ucl.ac.uk)

If you would like to meet with Prof Howard during his visit, please contact Bart to to indicate your interest.