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Electrical Cell Biology Workshop

28/29 March 2019
Radcliffe Conference Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK


The theoretical and experimental inquiry within biological sciences has never fully embraced an electrical viewpoint. While important studies of bioelectrical processes have and are being conducted, such as the Nobel-winning chemiosmotic mechanism of energy generation on membranes and the chemical basis of neuronal electrical processes, these are commonly considered as confined processes not relating to other cellular functions or being specific to certain cell types only (e.g. neurons). Fragmented individual studies on a diverse range of biological systems, conducted over the last decade, however, show that electrical forces and electrochemical gradients are fundamental in maintaining all kinds of cellular functions and organising them across space/time.

We are at an exciting nexus, to develop a new theoretical and experimental framework that links electrical forces to the cell biological mechanisms that generate, sense, and use them. The goal of this international workshop is to facilitate this process through interdisciplinary scientific exchange.

Sponsored by:

 

BBSRC logo

  uow_logo.png EPSRC logo

*This meeting is sponsored by the EPSRC NetworkPlus "Physics out of Equilibrium" and is therefore subsidised for the members of that network (https://emneq.org/)


FINAL PROGRAMME - click on the links to view the presentations!

28 March 2018:

9:30 – 10:20 Registration

10:20 – 10:30 Introduction and workshop motivation (O. Soyer)


10:30 – 12:00 Session 1: Electrochemistry meets biology

Shelley Minteer (U of Utah): ‘Mechanisms of Extracellular Electron Transfer: From Methods of Evaluation to Materials for Promotion’

Pat Unwin (U of Warwick): Lab-on-a-Tip: Multifunctional Nanoscale Electrochemical Probes for Single Cell Measurements

Andrew Marsh (U of Warwick): Bacterial adhesion and molecular interactions 


12:00 – 13:30 Lunch


13:30 – 15:00 Session 2: Mammalian cell bioelectricity

Mustafa Djamgoz (Imperial College London): Bioelectricity of cancer’

Sonia Antoranz Contera (U of Oxford): Electromechanical coupling in neurons, collagen and the extracellular matrix

Roland Knorr (Max Planck Institute): Membranes in electric fields


15:00 – 15:30 Coffee


15:30 – 17:00 Session 3: Bacterial electrical signaling

Minsu Kim (Emory University): ‘Tight regulation of electrically-charged substrate transport

Arthur Prindle (Northwestern University): Emergent metabolic dynamics in microbial communities

Munehiro Asally (U of Warwick): Electrically induced bacterial membrane potential dynamics


17:00 – 18:00 Coffee and Open discussion


18:00 – 19:00 Poster Session and Drinks


19:00 – Late Dinner



29 March 2019:

9:30 – 11:00 Session 4: Electro-biophysics and bioengineering

Robert Bradley (Imperial College London): 'Engineering electroactivity for signalling, energy, and electrosynthesis'

Dr Paulo Rocha (U of Bath): Detecting minuscule electrical activity of cell populations

Teuta Pilizota (U of Edinburgh): Single-cell bacterial electrophysiology


11:00 – 11:30 Coffee


11:30 – 13:00 Session 5: Metabolism as an electron-flow system

Orkun Soyer (U of Warwick): Understanding metabolism as an electrical process

Matthias Heinemann (U of Groningen): An upper limit on Gibbs energy dissipation governs cellular metabolism

Joff Silberg (Rice University): Using synthetic protein electron carriers to control bacterial metabolism’


13:00 – 14:00 Lunch


14:00 – 15:30 Session 6: Plant bioelectricity

Murray Grant (U of Warwick): Do variation potentials underpin systemic plant immunity

George Bassel (U of Birmingham): Information processing and distributed computing in plant organs

Giovanni Sena (Imperial College London): Feel the force: root electrotropism in Arabidopsis’


15:30 – 17:00 Coffee/Cake and Open discussion