Theory and Computation
Our group explores the basic physics underlying a variety of biological processes ranging in scale from protein function at the molecular level to the collective motility of cells and organisms. We use theoretical methods from statistical mechanics, polymer physics and elasticity as well as simulation techniques including molecular dynamics, coarse grained Brownian dynamics, Monte Carlo simulations and agent based models . We also work in close collaboration with experimentalists and other theorists, many of who are part of our NSF funded Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines. Our research spans three broad areas:
Cell Shape Regulation from Cytoskeletal Structure and Dynamics
Both bacterial and eukaryotic cells need to maintain control of their shape which affects function. How do cells exploit the intrinsic structure and dynamics of cytoskeletal filaments to measure, maintain and change shape ?
Material is continuously transported between organelles within our cells by the action of molecular motors dragging cargo on a network of protein filaments. How does the composition of the cargo, co-operation between motors and the topology of the road network affect transport? What does this tell us about disease states where transport is disrupted?
Collective motion is exploited at many scales ranging from flocks of birds to groups of migrating cells involved in development, wound healing or cancer. How does individual variability among the collective, as in clusters of malignant cancer cells, allow for novel physical phases, enhanced load sharing and transport?
Niranjan wins the Graduate Deans Dissertation Fellowship from Graduate Division. Congrats Niranjan!
Organizing an APS 2023 Focus Session on Intracellular Transport w/ Lena Koslover (UCSD)
Postdoc openings available (details)
AG elected to Chair line of American Physical Society Division of Biological Physics (DBIO) [news]
CCBM Phase 2 funded for 5 years/ $5 million! AG and Victor Munoz (BioE) will continue as co-directors.
Organizing an APS 2022 Focus Session on Intracellular Transport w/ Lena Koslover (UCSD)
New paper on entropy driven translocation of disordered proteins with K.C. Huang group in Nature Microbiology [story]!
Excited to start the NIH G-RISE (T-32) graduate training program as director[news]
UC MRPI grant to establish UC Coronavirus Research Consortium [news]
Awarded seed grant from STC CEMB to study collective cell migration
AG elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (DBIO) [news]
Talk in the awesome Biological Physics Physical Biology (BPPB) seminar series
Our chiral filament sensing and regulation work with K.C. Huang group appears in Nature Communications [news]
Katie's paper on frustration in migrating cell clusters published in Science Advances! [news story]
Aspen Public Radio interview
Started as Chair of Physics Department (July 1 2018)
NSF Grant on "Modeling Transport in Complex Intracellular Environments" is funded!
Our Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines (CCBM) is funded by NSF for 5 years and $5 million! AG and Victor Munoz (BioE) will serve as co-directors. [UCM story] [Merced Sun Star story]
Aspen TV interview on "The Physics of Flocking and Swarming"
AG has been named a Scialog Fellow by the Research Corporation and Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation (July 2014)