2018 Pre-Doctoral Awardees

Justin Gabriel Laughlin

Project Title: Image-Based Modeling of Signal Transduction in Dendritic Spines and Purkinje Cells

I am using high resolution spatial data of cells to construct mathematical models of intracellular signaling patterns. In particular, I am investigating the significance of endoplasmic reticulum geometry in mediating calcium ion dynamics via the IP3-Ca pathway. I believe open science is important for the community; by utilizing the open source projects CellBlender/GAMer/FEniCS I hope to promote their missions while producing models which can be freely available to other researchers.

Mentors: Drs. Padmini Rangamani and Brenda Bloodgood, UC San Diego


Saurabh Sanjay Mogre

Project Title: Cruising Through the Cell: Transport of Motor-Driven and Hitchhiking Organelles

I am currently working on understanding intracellular transport in long tubular cells such as neuronal axons and fungal hyphae. Efficient delivery of organelles over various length scales in a complex environment is a challenge for the cell which requires optimization between different transport modes. In collaboration with the Reck-Peterson lab, I work on modeling the multi-modal transport of intracellular components using analytical and computational techniques. The overall theme of my research is building stochastic dynamical models of biological systems to extract quantitative information and make qualitative predictions about their behavior.

Mentors: Drs. Elena Koslover and Samara Reck-Peterson, UC San Diego