Spatio-temporal signaling control of biological self-organization. Signaling networks in innate immunity. Microscopy; Mathematical modeling; Computational image analysis; Systems Biology.
Cell & Developmental Biology,
University of California, Davis
We are interested in the overall phenomena of Self-Organization in biological systems. Self-Organization describes the process by which parts in a biological system interact and influence each other's properties to assemble into a functioning system. It is the nature of these interactions that allows biological systems to respond to changing environments. Our group is interested in understanding the principles underlying biological self-organization processes.
We focus on the innate immune response to stress. Stress in the form of pathogens or cellular damage causes an abrupt imbalance and disruption of tissue steady state. As the body responds to fight invasion and repair the damage, innate immune cells sense the environment to collect information from other cells and collectively work to restore the tissue to its balanced steady state. There are multiple functions required for this process: recruitment and chemotaxis of cells to the source of stress, phagocytosis of invading pathogens and damaged cells, and secretion and exocytosis of proteases and other enzymes that help fight the invasion.
Self-Organization principles are critical for understanding the innate immune response at two complementary scales: At the intra-cellular scale we study how cells rearrange their actin cytoskeleton, to perform the various functions required from them. Furthermore, we examine how one signaling network controls the actin cytoskeleton in a precise spatio-temporal manner in chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and secretion. At the inter-cellular scale we study how cells utilize paracrine signaling to coordinate their functions with one another to produce a coherent and robust response to stress.
Primary Research Area
Computational and Theoretical
Promoted diversity as part of my work in the Admissions and Recruitment committee. I nominated candidates from minority background to San Diego Fellowship. Successful in having 4 female and 2 underrepresented minorities accepted into our program from 11 nominated.
Also active in mentoring graduate students.
- Mogilner A, Allard J, Wollman R, "Cell polarity: quantitative modeling as a tool in cell biology.", Science, 2012, Vol. 336, Issue 6078, 175-9
- Santos SD, Wollman R, Meyer T, Ferrell JE Jr, "Spatial positive feedback at the onset of mitosis.", Cell, 2012, Vol. 149, Issue 7, 1500-13
- Paul R, Wollman R, Silkworth WT, Nardi IK, Cimini D, Mogilner A, "Computer simulations predict that chromosome movements and rotations accelerate mitotic spindle assembly without compromising accuracy.", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2009, Vol. 106, Issue 37, 15708-13
- Wollman R, Civelekoglu-Scholey G, Scholey JM, Mogilner A, "Reverse engineering of force integration during mitosis in the Drosophila embryo.", Mol Syst Biol, 2008, Vol. 4, 195
- Goshima G, Wollman R, Goodwin SS, Zhang N, Scholey JM, Vale RD, Stuurman N, "Genes required for mitotic spindle assembly in Drosophila S2 cells.", Science, 2007, Vol. 316, Issue 5823, 417-21
- Wollman R, Stuurman N, "High throughput microscopy: from raw images to discoveries.", J Cell Sci, 2007, Vol. 120, Issue Pt 21, 3715-22
- Wollman R, Cytrynbaum EN, Jones JT, Meyer T, Scholey JM, Mogilner A, "Efficient chromosome capture requires a bias in the 'search-and-capture' process during mitotic-spindle assembly.", Curr Biol, 2005, Vol. 15, Issue 9, 828-32