In some living organisms (e.g. zebrafish), the gametes carry a substance called the germplasm made of RNA and other proteins. This germplasm is present in the organism since its unicellular embryonic stage, and is transported through development to the adult reproductive cells. In the unicellular embryo, the germplasm phase-separates into granules called germ granules, and when the cell divides, the granules concentrate along the cell-division furrows. In this project, we investigate the first few steps of this transport starting from the unicellular stage through a few cell-division cycles.
The hypothesis driving this project is that as the single-cell embryo first divides, motor protein activity drives a global flow within the ooplasm that transports the germplasm. Which forces govern the nature and strength of this flow?
The project combines elements of embryogenesis, fluid dynamics, applied mathematics, and biophysics, in collaboration with and under the leadership of Prof. Karuna Sampath at U. Warwick, seeks to a theoretical description that goes hand-in-hand with the experiments being performed at Warwick.
This is a 3-year position, with funding available for domestic applicants. Starting in Jan 2024.