Academic Background
Courses
Research
Projects

 

We have a grant supporting underrepresented minority students in the lab and in addition provide support for enthusiastic and serious students in projects related to our research interests.

 

WELCOME

Professor Foster is principal investigator (with professors Lipson and Saranak) of the grant "Nonlinear Dynamics of Cellular Signal Transduction" from the National Institutes of Health.

Kenneth Foster and Jureepan Saranak's overall research goals are to understand how biological sensors -- in particular light sensors --work, and how they have evolved over the last few billion years on Earth. We are studying model cell systems from three major biological Kingdoms:

the Green Alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

the Fungal zoospores of Allomyces reticulatus, and

the Stramenopiles, Mallomonas and Fucus sperm.

Various aspects are under investigation at different biological levels. For example, for unicellular vision we are studying the architecture of its light capturing structure, a dielectric antenna or eye. At the cellular level, the nonlinear ciliary responses that enable the cell to use its eye to track the direction of light are being analyzed. At the intermolecular level, we are employing systems analysis to describe the network of sensory signals within a single cell. Some of these signals come from light receptors at the eye and are used to steer the cell with its cilia. At the molecular level, we are studying how the light receptor molecules work. Specifically, we seek the mechanism of activation of the rhodopsin and other G-protein-activating receptors is being sought. With the conservation of nature, hundreds of different receptors in human would appear to be in the same superfamily, first evolved 3.5 billion years ago.

Techniques developed for this work are also being applied, in collaboration with others, to understand the ubiquitous pathways by which light can control of gene expression.

Professor Foster is principal investigator (with professors Lipson and Saranak) of the grant "Nonlinear Dynamics of Cellular Signal Transduction" from the National Institutes of Health.


Kenneth Foster


Juree Saranak

Professor Kenneth Foster. Physics Department. Syracuse University.