Kaiyun “Kathy” Guan
BCB Graduate Student
My research focuses on mathematical modeling of signaling systems regulating cell polarity. My computational model centers on Rho GTPase Cdc42, which is the master regulator of cell polarity. I’m interested in how the combination of stochastic noise and different feedback systems, membrane trafficking, or extracellular chemical gradients affect the dynamics of Cdc42 during yeast polarization.
Shown is an example video of a 2D particle-based simulation displaying highly dynamic distribution of Cdc42 with membrane trafficking. In the videos, each point represents one Cdc42 molecule. Membrane was inserted at Cdc42 clusters via implicitly modeled exocytosis. Stochastic noise was introduced through random walk and the reaction-diffusion master equation (RDME) framework. Besides particle-based simulation, I’m developing a corresponding partial differential equation model without stochasticity. A comparison between the two models will be conducted to investigate the role of stochastic noise coupled with membrane trafficking in polarity factor dynamics.