From Gravity to Gradients: The
Nanoscale Physics of Cells
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Center for Legislative Studies (CLS), Auditorium
Understanding macroscopic multicellular
life requires the study of processes occurring in the
microscopic nanoscale world of individual cells where the
relevant physics is very different from the physics
governing macroscopic processes. This talk will draw on
examples from my research to highlight some physical
principles that are important to the nanoscale processes
of life. Experimental results will be presented to
highlight the relative unimportance of gravity at the
nanoscale compared to diffusion. Additionally, the
importance of electrochemical gradients at the nanoscale
will be emphasized by sharing results from my
computational neuroscience and calcium signaling research.
Dr. Jeffrey R. Groff, Institute of Environmental and Physical Sciences
Dr. Groff is assistant professor of physics in the
Institute of Environmental and Physical Sciences. He
completed his undergraduate degree at McDaniel College in
Westminster, MD and earned his masters degree and Ph.D in
Applied Science at the College of William and Mary. Prior
to being appointed as Shepherd, Dr. Groff served as a
visiting assisting professor of physics at Gettysburg
College and as a calculus instructor at William in Mary.
Dr. Groff's research interests include the computational
study of neural communication and intracellular calcium
signaling, the teaching of biological physics in
introductory physics courses, and the application of
embedded electronics for environmental monitoring. Dr.
Groff's two most recent publications are "Estimating the
Size of Onion Epidermal Cells from Diffraction Patterns"
appearing in the Physics Teacher and "Exploring Dynamical
Systems and Chaos Using the Logistic Map Model of
Population Change" appearing in the American Journal of
Physics. Dr. Groff also serves on the Board of Directors
for the American Conservation Film Festival and recently
was honored by receiving the McDaniel Honors Program
College Scholar Alumni Award.