Protein droplets and the physics of intracellular phase separation

Dec 1, 2017, 10:00 am10:00 am
Advanced Science Research Center, Auditorium 85 - Saint Nicholas Terrace, New York, NY



Event Description

Protein disorder and liquid phase separation
Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle, The Graduate Center and ASRC, CUNY

Mechanism and functions of phase separation by multidomain proteins
Michael Rosen, University of Texas Southwestern and HHMI

Protein phase transitions in and out of cells
Ned Wingreen, Princeton University

Cells contain compartments (organelles), bounded by membranes, within which particular functions are localized. Recently it has been realized that many functional compartments are not bounded by membranes, but rather are phase separated droplets of concentrated protein and nucleic acid.  These can form and dissolve as needed, and enable many crucial cellular functions, from ribosome assembly to RNA regulation and storage, and from signaling to metabolism.  What controls droplet condensation and dissolution? How are specific components included or excluded?  How do these structures influence the dynamics of cellular processes?   Here we will explore recent experimental and theoretical developments that address these questions.


  • Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences (ITS)
  • CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology