Akamatsu Lab research interests:
Our research goal is to uncover how the actin cytoskeleton produces force during cellular membrane bending and trafficking processes. The projects in our lab focus on the mechanical relationship between the actin cytoskeleton and mammalian endocytosis using a combination of mathematical modeling, human stem cell genome-editing, and fluorescence microscopy.
Using these tools, we aim to identify mechanisms by which emergent architectures of cytoskeletal networks arise based on the initial positions and geometries of endocytic actin-binding proteins. We also study the mechanisms by which the cytoskeleton actively adapts to changing loads to ensure the timely completion of endocytosis.
Valerie Bentivegna received her PhD in Life Sciences from the University of Dundee where she worked in Inke Näthke’s lab to study the mechanical properties of cells and tissues in two and three dimensions. She is interested in multidisciplinary approaches to biological questions by combining tissue culture, tissue engineering, fluorescence microscopy, and computational modeling to uncover complex questions. Aside from doing science, Valerie enjoys finding creative ways to communicate science including informal education, tinkering workshops, and comedy. Valerie joined the MatsuLab in October 2022.