Tanmay Lele
Ph.D., 2002, Purdue University
Ph : 352-392-0317
329 Chemical Engineering Building
Faculty Web Page
Cell mechanics
Cell and tissue engineering
Quantitative cell biology
Cells in our body perform complex tasks, including movement across tissues, adhesion to polymeric scaffolds in the body and the sensing of chemical and mechanical signals. These complex processes depend in large part on the intracellular cytoskeleton. Specialized 'motor' proteins that convert chemical energy into mechanical work associate and move along the polymeric cytoskeleton enabling critical cell functions including intracellular mechanical force generation. We are interested in how the cytoskeleton and associated motor proteins generates forces inside the living cell. This work has applications in understanding diseases of the cardiovascular and muscular system, as well as cancer. We are also developing new biomaterials and nanotechnologies for characterizing and controlling cellular forces.
Cell mechanics
We are studying the molecular mechanisms of force generation in the cell cytoskeleton with a (current) focus on nuclear force generation. We employ techniques like femtosecond laser ablation, micromanipulation and photoactivation for manipulating the cellular force balance. We are also interested in how cells sense and respond to micro-environmental mechanical cues and how cytoskeletal forces are altered in pathologies like cancer and muscular dystrophies.
Research Research Research Research
Microtubules Intermediate Filaments Centrosome (green) with nucleus (blue) Actin (green) with (red)
and nucleus (blue)
Cell and tissue engineering
New technologies for controlling cell and tissue function are an important focus. We are developing novel materials for controlling cell adhesion, new methods to apply mechanical forces to cells and to pattern intracellular structure.
Quantitative cell biology
We have developed new methods for analyzing protein binding interactions in living cells using a combination of mathematical modeling and fluorescence-based methods. We continue to refine these methods and apply them for developing a quantitative understanding of intracellular processes.
Recent Publications
1. The nucleus is an intracellular propagator of tensile forces in NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. Alam SG, Lovett D, Kim DI, Roux K, Dickinson RB, Lele TP. Journal of Cell Science. 2015 Apr 23. pii: jcs.161703
2. Direct force probe reveals the mechanics of nuclear homeostasis in the mammalian cell. Neelam S, Chancellor TJ, Li Y, Nickerson JA, Roux KJ, Dickinson RB, Lele TP. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A. 2015 Apr 21. pii: 201502111
3. Actomyosin pulls to advance the nucleus in a migrating tissue cell. Wu J, Kent IA, Shekhar N, Chancellor TJ, Mendonca A, Dickinson RB, Lele TP. Biophysical Journal 2014 Jan 7;106(1):7-15. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.11.4489.
4. Modulation of Nuclear Shape by Substrate Rigidity. Lovett DB, Shekhar N, Nickerson JA, Roux KJ, Lele TP. Cell Molecular Bioengineering. 2013 Jun 1;6(2):230-238.
5. Effects of dynein on microtubule mechanics and centrosome positioning. Wu J, Misra G, Russell RJ, Ladd AJ, Lele TP, Dickinson RB. Mol Biol Cell. 2011 Dec;22(24):4834-41. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E11-07-0611