Danielle Scheff (email) is a PhD student in physics working with Professor Margaret Gardel at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the mechanics of actin network, as well as the interplay between filament dynamics and active myosin forces. She received her BA in Physics and Mathematics from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. In addition to research, she serves on the executive board of the American Physical Society's Forum on Graduate Student Affairs, where she runs a quarterly travel grant and represents graduate students before the society's CEO and council. She also advocates for transgender visibility in science, most recently as part of a panel discussion on being openly LGBTQ in science at the University of Chicago.
Talk details: Interaction of active processes in actin networks
Flows generated by molecular motors in actin networks is a well-studied example of active systems with internal sources of energy, but actin has another form of activity that is less well understood. We study how these forms of activity-stresses generated by the protein motor myosin and actin turnover where filaments continuously grow on one end while shrinking on the other-interact in networks of purified proteins. We find that myosin stresses accelerate actin turnover, while turnover makes myosin generated flows faster but less contractile.