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Spatio-mechanical EphA2/ephrin-A1 Signaling in Cancer Cells


Communication strategies in nature are an integral part to the survival of multi-cellular organisms. Cell membranes provide the chemical environment in which intercellular signaling begins. The vast complexity of this signaling requires that a relatively conserved set of chemical constituents be able to generate enormous signal diversity. Spatial sorting of signaling molecules within the membrane allows for this diversity. My research uses synthetic lipid membranes, solid-state nanostructures, and high-resolution imaging to study a potentially novel spatio-mechanical regulatory mechanism in the EphA2 signaling pathway. My hypothesis is that the multi-scale organization of the EphA2 receptor in the cell membrane regulates its biochemical function. This hypothesis is motivated by the idea that extracellular mechanical inputs have an important role in intracellular signaling cascades.

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