Peter van Gisbergen
PhD graduate student
MS Plant Cell Biology, 2008, Wageningen Agricultural University
I am interested in how cells can grow asymetrically. This requires the cell to set up and maintain a polarity and thus to have a difference in one side of the cell versus the other. Specifically, I am interested in how the cytoskeleton is involved in this form of growth and how the cytoskeleton is regulated. Another part of this process we study is the involvement of the cytoskeleton and its regulators in membrane trafficking. The subject of my studies is a protein called Formin. Formins nucleate and elongate actin filaments and are essential for polarized growth and possibly are also involved in vesicle trafficking towards the plasma membrane. We are currently looking at connections between actin, Formin and growth, as well as trying to elucidate how Formins are activated in plant cells.