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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Microtubules are the most rigid element of the cytoskeleton. They are responsible for the structure of cells and make up the tracks for intracellular cargo transport. Interactions between microtubules, motor proteins, and microtubule-associated proteins drive important mechanisms in the cell, such as cell division, cell motility, cell homeostasis, and cell signaling. I seek to understand how such complex, energy-consuming non-equilibrium biological networks self-organize by studying in vitro microtubules bundled by microtubule-associated protein 65 (MAP65), in kinesin-1 gliding assays. I found that large networks can break into smaller, cell-like networks that can mimic types of cell motility. Dynamics of these networks change with varying concentrations of MAP65 and microtubules.


First Advisor

Jennifer L Ross

Second Advisor

Edward P Debold

Third Advisor

Maria Milfoil

Included in

Biophysics Commons