Research

How do living architectures grow and persist? My research on life has sought to clarify how information flows between local and global scales.

Architectural transitions in biofilms

Groups of sticky bacteria can grow into patterned ellipsoids. How do these complex structures arise?

A simple verticalizing-fluid model shows how the forms emerge from the biomechanics of pushing and sticking.

Open source biofilm simulator

Stiffness sensing in connective tissue

Certain types of cells actively probe and respond to stiffness. What a cell learn about its surroundings by pulling?

We investigated this type of sensing by modeling tissues as elastic networks. Our mechanical model revealed what a microscopic sensor can learn about tissue identity.

Study reveals ways in which cells feel their surroundings

Physical limits to sensing material properties

Probing a messy material tells you something about local stiffness. How can a sensor best feel the overall stiffness?

The information gleaned by sensing is bounded by elasticity. Sensory multiplexing explains how to sense near these bounds.

Sensing in a disordered medium

Senti en malorda medio

Notebook to optimize a model sensor

Genome maintenance during aging

Over time, cells lose genes that encode protein factories. What might cells do to maintain enough genes to survive?

The Yamashita Lab and I explored stochastic equations of gene copy number. Our models showed that preferential inheritance can guard the fidelity of DNA during aging.