Fission yeast cells expressing pom1-tomato and cdr2-GFP (Pan et al, Elife 2014)

           Sea urchin embryos in microfabricated chambers (Minc et al., Cell 2011)

This is the home page of Fred Chang's laboratory in the Department of Cell and Tissue Biology (CTB), University of California, San Francisco.

The Chang Lab studies fundamental questions in cell biology concerning spatial organization of cells. An aspriation of modern cell biology is to understand how the various cellular components assemble into a cell. How does a single cell develop? How do cells form with a specific shape and size? How do cells sense their own shape and size? How do cells divide and how do cells decide where to divide? How do cellular components assemble and organize themselves to form discrete structures, distinct cellular compartments and form patterns? How do cellular components sense cell size, cell shape, and measure distances?

We seek to elucidate quantitative molecular and biomechanical mechanisms underlying the dynamic cellular processes responsible for morphogenesis of the cell. Our approaches are interdisciplinary, combining the expertise and perspectives of cell biologists, geneticists, physicists, and engineers. The lab develops creative experimental approaches to manipulate and image cellular processes in living cells.

Our favorite model organism is the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. These cells are ideally suited for quantitative cell biology and genetic approaches. In addition, and as a counterpoint, we also study model animals such as sea urchin, nematodes etc.

Current projects include: cytokinesis, cell polarity, biomechanics of cell morphogenesis and the cell wall, sensing and regulation of cell size, and regulation of microtubule dynamics.

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