Protein-protein interactions are the driving force for cellular processes ranging from signal transduction and nutrient uptake to gene transcription and cellular motility. Our research focuses on understanding the mechanisms and cellular control of dynamic protein assembly for the proper functioning of the cell. We combine approaches from statistical mechanics, network theory, optimization and computational biology to build molecular scale and systems scale models of protein interactions in the cell.
A current focus is on protein self-organization in clathrin-mediated endocytosis. The plasma membrane acts as a platform both to assemble the multi-protein clathrin coat and to regulate and control the initiation and progression of vesicle formation. To study the spatial and temporal dynamics of this stochastic many-protein non-equilibrium assembly process, we develop new methods for reaction diffusion simulations with protein structure included.