Statistical Biophysics

David Lacoste
Technics Used in the Lab: Theory / Computer simulations

Our group is engaged in the physical modeling of cellular processes at various scales:

• At the molecular scale in cells, we study some implications of stochastic fluctuations:

Membrane fluctuations: We are interested in the diffusion of proteins coupled to membrane fluctuations; and in the question of developing methods of analysis to distinguish passive from active membrane fluctuations.

Length fluctuations of biofilaments: We have been developing stochastic models to describe the coupling of ATP/GTP hydrolysis with polymerization in actin filaments and microtubules (see Fig 1).


• At the cell scale, we investigate two aspects of the spatio-temporal organization of cells:

Cellular organelles: We are constructing physical models to understand the interplay between the biochemical maturation within cellular organelles and the exchange of material between organelles.

Cell motility: We are developing models that encompass various types of motility strategies (protrusion-based mesenchymal motility, and contraction-based amoeboid motility – see Fig.2), in order to understand the internal and external factors that affect the choice of motility strategy in a given