Dr. Min Wu, Yale School of Medicine
Oscillations, Waves and Chaos in Mast Cell
Mast cell is specialized in sensing and rapid responding to foreign antigen. Our lab discovered that many signaling, and actin cytoskeletal proteins formed oscillatory waves on the surface of mast cell. These observations suggest that the cortex of mast cell is close to the onset of a dynamical states called “limit cycle attractor”, where all trajectories tend to be trapped in a close loop in phase space. Recently, our work suggests the possible existence of a different type of attractor in cortical state, i.e. “strange attractor”, or commonly known as chaos. Collectively, experimental identification and direct visualization of these attractor states offer unprecedented opportunities to rethink the organization and dynamics of living systems, where non-linear networks and paradoxical circuits are prevalent, using a dynamical systems framework.
Min Wu was born and raised in Nanjing, China. She received her undergraduate degree from Peking University in chemistry. She then completed her Ph.D in the lab of Barbara Baird at Cornell University, working on the interface between patterned supported lipid bilayers and immune cells. Her post-doctoral training was with Pietro De Camilliat Yale University, where she developed a cell-free reconstitution system for endocytosis. She started her independent career at the National University of Singapore as an assistant professor in 2011 and was promoted to a tenured associate professor in 2018. She was a principal investigator of the Center for Bioimaging Sciences, a principal investigator of the Mechanobiology Institute and a National Research Foundation fellow. In 2020, she was recruited to join the Department of Cell Biology at Yale University. The Wu lab studies single cell oscillations and travelling waves, membrane curvature, and cell size homeostasis.
co-hosted by Julie Gosse (Molecular & Biomedical Sciences) and Zhao Xuan