The MRSEC holds seminars presenting research at the frontier of Bioinspired Soft Materials. The seminars are targeted towards grad students and other researchers in the field, although everyone is invited to attend. As the topic is highly interdisciplinary, seminars are designed to be accessible to a wide range of backgrounds. 

MRSEC Seminars Organizers:
John Berezney (Dogic/Fraden Lab Postdoc)


Thursday, July 25, 2019
Kinneret Keren, Technion
Title: Hydra Regeneration and the Physics of Morphogenesis
Abstract: Morphogenesis, the emergence of form and function in a developing organism, is one of the most remarkable examples of pattern formation in nature. Despite substantial progress, we still do not understand the organizational principles underlying the convergence of this process, across scales, to form viable organisms under variable conditions. We focus on the mechanical aspects of morphogenesis using Hydra, a small multicellular fresh-water animal, as a model system. Hydra has a simple body plan and is famous for its ability to regenerate an entire animal from small tissue pieces, providing a flexible platform to explore how mechanical forces and feedback contribute to the formation and stabilization of the body plan during morphogenesis. I will present our recent results showing that the supra-cellular actin fibers, which exhibit nematic order, direct body-axis formation during regeneration. I will further describe our efforts to develop a framework that relates the dynamics of the actin nematic to the development of the animal’s body plan, in which topological defects in the nematic order act as organizers of the morphogenesis process. Finally, we aim to directly demonstrate that mechanical constraints can pattern the body plan during morphogenesis via mechanical feedback and I will describe our progress in this direction.
Abelson 229, 4PM

Monday, August 19, 2019
Yael Roichman, Tel Aviv University
Abelson 229, 4PM

Thursday, August 29, 2019
Navish Wadhwa, Harvard University
Abelson 229, 4PM

Thursday, September 5, 2019
Robert Macfarlane, MIT
Abelson 229, 4PM

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Douglas Holmes, Boston University
Abelson 229, 4PM

Thursday, October 24, 2019
Ming Guo, MIT Mechanical Engineering
Abelson 229, 4PM

 See past events.