PhD Student in MCDB at UC Santa Barbara
B.S. in Cell Biology from UC Davis
Collective cell migration is crucial to embryonic development, wound healing, and immune response and it allows tumors to metastasize. In Denise Montell’s lab, I research this process using the border cell cluster in the Drosophila ovary as a model. The actomyosin cytoskeleton mediates the formation of protrusions in the migrating border cell cluster. Novel findings suggest that septins, a largely unexplored fourth element of the cytoskeleton, may also be involved in border cell migration. Septins are conserved throughout animals and fungi and are involved in a diverse array of cellular processes such as cytokinesis, plasma membrane curving, vesicle fusion, and diffusion barrier formation. They have been shown to interact with actin and microtubules and regulate actomyosin contraction in collective cell migration in the Xenopus embryo. Through my research, I aim to understand the role of septins in border cell migration.