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Ben O'Shaughnessy's group combines mathematical and computational modeling, data analysis, image analysis and experimentation to investigate  fundamental machineries used by living cells in health and disease. Our research is tightly integrated with collaborative experimental work.

Neurotransmission, neurotransmitter release, other secretion processes

We study neurotransmission and the machinery that releases neurotransmitters at neuronal synapses in the brain. This remarkable machinery achieves the millisecond temporal resolution required for neural circuits to encode information for cognition, sensation and coordinated motor activity. Its misregulation is associated with neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. Similar mechanisms govern secretion of other essential bioactive compounds, including hormones such as insulin, cytokines in the immune system and enzymes.

Mechanics of cell division, mechanosensing

We investigate one of life’s most essential force-generating machines, the actomyosin contractile ring that divides cells at the end of the cell cycle during cytokinesis. Cell division propagates the genome and allows organisms to grow and repair, and its misregulation is the essential feature of cancer. Related interests in mechanobiology are the mechanisms of mechanosensing and remodeling in the actomyosin cytoskeleton and regulation of cell wall growth in cell walled organisms.

Featured Publication

Roberto Alonso-Matilla joins our group

August 27, 2018

Roberto Alonso-Matilla joins our group as a postdoc. Welcome Roberto! 

Nadiv Dharan joins our group

July 15, 2018

Nadiv Dharan joins our group as a postdoc.
Welcome to Nadiv! 

Jerome Petit-Jacques joins our group

July 8, 2018

Jerome Petit-Jacques is a new Senior Technician in our group, jointly with Clarissa Waites' lab, Dept. Neuroscience. 

Welcome to the group Jerome!

RISE Award

April 18, 2018

The award initiates an exciting new joint investigation of synaptic release with Clarissa Waites' lab in Neuroscience.

Sathish Thiyagarajan awarded Ph.D.

December 08, 2017

Sathish modeled the cytokinetic contractile ring and control of neurotransmitter release.
Congratulations Dr. Thiyagarajan!

Joseph Wang awarded Ph.D.

December 07, 2017

Joseph built a realistic 3D simulation of the contractile ring that divides living cells.
Congratulations Joseph!

Egor Antipov joins our group

October 16 , 2017

Egor Antipov joins our research group to perform his doctoral research.
Welcome Egor!

Rui Su joins the group

October 16 , 2017

Rui Su joins our research group to perform his doctoral research.
Welcome to Rui!

Brett Alcott awarded Ph.D.

May 03, 2017

Brett combined experiment and modeling to study how influenza virus enters cells.
Congratulations Dr. Alcott!

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