Geometry of cytoskeletal assemblies

Ciliates are large (hundreds of microns long) unicellular organisms. In addition to cilia, the cortex of these cells is covered by highly patterned networks of “unconventional” cytoskeletal polymers.

We are studying the mechanisms of assembly of these cytoskeletal networks. We are interested in understanding how their geometry supports the extreme cell shape changes and rapid swimming required for behavioral responses in protists.