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Alex Mogilner is an American professor and research scientist at the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and Department of Mathematics at the University of California in Davis. His major contribution to science are in the areas of cell motility and division and innovations in cell imaging.
Alex Mogilner was born in the Soviet Union on May 22 in 1962. Mogilner also chose this path and recieved his doctorate in physics in 1990 at the URal Division of the Academy of Sciences in his hometown of Ekaterinburg.
After two years of research at the University of Manitoba, he went back to graduate school at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and received his Ph.D in Applied Mathematics, a program that combined math and biology. Mogilner's current work is in computational biology, which combines chemistry, biology, math and physics.
Research and Innovations
One of Mogilner's research topics is the mitotic spindle and how it is assembled. The mitotic spindle is the what pulls conjoined chromosomes apart during cell division. When the microtubules extend across the cell they seem to seek out the chromosomes. To solve a question scientists have been postulating over for many years, whether or not the seeking out of chromosomes is random, Mogilner wrote a code that allowed for the complete model of the entire process to be simulated on a computer. By changing the rate at which the process happened given the assumption that the process occurs randomly, it became apparent that if this really was just chance, there wouldn't be sufficient time for the spindle to assemble.
Mogilner hypothesized that the chromosomes were surrouned by proteins that directed the microtubules toward them. A few years after, research in Germany confirmed his prediction. In the years after the breakthrough, Mogilner's research was cited in hundreds of papers and changed the way scientists view cell division.
He is Associate Editor of the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology.
(1) (2)http://www.nature.com/ncb/journal/v10/n9/abs/ncb1763.html (3)http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7194/full/nature06952.html (4)http://biosci3.ucdavis.edu/FacultyAndResearch/FacultyProfile.aspx?FacultyID=367
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