MedChem Guest Speaker – Jack Tuszynski Ph.D.

Thursday, March 7th, 2024 4:00 PM EHSEB 2600

Uncovering Electrodynamic Design Principles of Living Cells and a Potential Role of Quantum Interactions in Cellular Signal Processing

Abstract: The structure-function relationship is the basis of quantitative analysis of living organisms whose fundamental unit is a cell. Cellular structural and functional complexity is a challenge to our understanding of responses to various environmental changes affecting cells. Electrical and electromagnetic interactions with cells are particularly poorly understood. I will discuss recent experiments performed in parallel with computational modelling aimed to develop an integrated model of the cell as a bio-electric circuit of circuits. I will summarize key bio-electric properties of the cell as a whole and its major components, which will allow to reverse engineer the underlying bio-electrodynamic design principles. While much is known about the electric properties of cell membranes, explorations of the cytoskeleton, are still nebulous. Key cytoskeleton components, actin filaments and microtubules, play essential roles in cell motility, mitosis, cell differentiation, transport and signalling. Their elementary protein building blocks self-assemble into cell-spanning filaments, and are strongly affected by temperature, ionic concentrations, pH and other factors. These factors are involved in cellular structure formation and significantly affect cellular responses to electric and EM fields. My ultimate objective is to uncover an electrodynamic design blueprint for eukaryotic cells accounting for these factors, both generically and in comparison between normal and cancer cells. While cancer cells exhibit major changes in their electro-chemical properties compared to normal cells, this property is yet to be substantially exploited for therapeutic applications, although some promising advances have recently been made and I’ll discuss them in this talk. This work is intended to unveil a new paradigm for health and disease and enable new therapeutic interventions. Finally, in relation to the potential role of the cytoskeleton in quantum mechanisms of consciousness, I’ll report some recent experimental and computational results obtained within the Templeton Foundation supported project I coordinated.

Published in All College of Pharmacy, Alumni, Seminars
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