Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Molecular mechanism of sound amplification

4:00 PM

Taubman Health Science Library, Room 2901
And Virtual via Zoom

The Hearing, Balance, and Chemical Senses (HBCS) Program hosts faculty candidate Navid Bavi, Ph.D., Fellow from the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics; University of Chicago.

Zoom: https://umich.zoom.us/j/98324652838
Passcode: 063881

Navid Bavi, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago

I am a mechanobiologist who works at the interface of bioengineering, biophysics and structural biology. My interest in mechanobiology came from my background in mechanical engineering, which was focused on the mechanics of composite materials. Given biological materials such as tissues, cells, proteins and lipid membranes often behave as composite material— of course with much higher complexity, I found the mechanics of biomaterials extremely intriguing. As a result, I switched fields for my Ph.D. and chose to study the different families of mechanosensitive ion channels in bacteria and mammals (Martinac Lab, VCCRI). Specifically, in my Ph.D. project, I sought to characterize how mechanosensitive channels respond to the forces they encounter from their surrounding lipid bilayer, in addition to their modulation by amphipathic drugs.

Subsequently, in my first post-doctoral project, I aimed to elucidate how mechanosensitive channels, Piezo-1 and TREK-1, respond to mechanical changes at the cell-matrix interface, which is a process highly relevant to the human discernment of rough versus smooth surfaces (Poole Lab, UNSW). I am a Chicago Fellow at the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, University of Chicago.  I am in the pursuit of characterizing novel genes that potentially regulate mechanosensitivity in various tissues. I use techniques such as single particle cryo-electron microscopy, patch clamp electrophysiology and molecular modeling to address different aims of my research. In the future, I aspire to my past experiences to investigate the fundamental mechano-physiological phenomena occurring in our bodies from the single molecular level to in vivo scale with translational applications.