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The Elston lab applies computational approaches, including mathematical modeling and quantitative image analysis, to understand complex cellular behavior. In particular, we are interested in understanding how cells sense and respond to changes in their environment. Current projects in the lab focus on phagocytosis, polarity establishment, cell migration and gradient sensing. Each of these processes is initiated by signaling pathways that receive, process and transmit signals from the environment. The signals transmitted by these pathways then induce changes in the actin cytoskeleton that produce cell movement and changes in intracellular structure. Our ultimate goal is to develop predictive models of signaling pathways that provide insight into the etiology and treatment of human diseases.

Graduate students in the lab participate in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Graduate Program, theĀ Applied Mathematics Program, and the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Program.