Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology
The members of my laboratory are interested in understanding the mechanisms that govern adhesion between the cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. We have developed a novel form of interference reflection microscopy to probe the dynamics of the plasma membrane in the vicinity of integrin adhesions. Additionally, we exploit several forms of fluorescent microscopy in order to probe the interplay between membrane biophysics and the myriad of proteins that assemble at an adhesion. We have developed a model, based upon statistical thermodynamic arguments, which provides a mechanistic understanding of the hierarchical processes that govern the formation of an integrin adhesion. This research is funded under grant: NIH 1R01GM076293 "Imaging Actin Dynamics at the Ventral Surface of Live Cells"
Although we seek to understand basic mechanisms, we are interested in unraveling how pathological changes are related to disease (such as cancer). Motivated by clinical observations of neonatal pulmonary disease, we are using optical microscopy to understand the mechanisms responsible for oxidant induced injury.
We are also developing optical methods to control biology. We seek to understand gene expression in single cells by applying one and two-photon uncaging microscopy methods to photoactivate a gene that subsequently begins transcription of RNA. These optical methods allow us to spatially localize gene activation and to control precisely when the activation occurs (see: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Initiatives/CellImaging/RFA-RM-04-001.htm). This work is funded on an NIH grant: 1R01GM086217-01; Professor Robert Singer is the Principal Investigator.
Projects are available for individuals who wish to apply their quantitative backgrounds and analytical strengths to a compelling biological question. Individuals may become involved with experiments, modeling, theoretical research, image processing or the development of software.
Selected publications (past 10 years):
Author(s): Atilgan, E; Ovryn, B
Title: Nucleation and Growth of Integrin Adhesions
Source: BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 96 (9): In Press 2009
Author(s): Singer, RH; Lawrence, DS; Ovryn, B; Condeelis, J
Title: Imaging of gene expression in living cells and tissues
Source: JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS, 10 (5): Art. No. 051406 SEP-OCT 2005
Author(s): Kavehpour, HP; Ovryn, B; McKinley, GH
Title: Microscopic and macroscopic structure of the precursor layer in spreading viscous drops
Source: PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 91 (19): Art. No. 196104 NOV 7 2003
Author(s): Kavehpour, P; Ovryn, B; McKinley, GH
Title: Evaporatively-driven Marangoni instabilities of volatile liquid films spreading on thermally conductive substrates
Source: COLLOIDS AND SURFACES A-PHYSICOCHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING ASPECTS, 206 (1-3): 409-423 Sp. Iss. SI JUL 9 2002
Author(s): Ovryn, B
Title: Three-dimensional forward scattering particle image velocimetry applied to a microscopic field-of-view
Source: EXPERIMENTS IN FLUIDS, 29: S175-S184 Suppl. S DEC 2000
Author(s): Ovryn, B; Izen, SH
Title: Imaging of transparent spheres through a planar interface using a high-numerical-aperture optical microscope
Source: JOURNAL OF THE OPTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA A-OPTICS IMAGE SCIENCE AND VISION, 17 (7): 1202-1213 JUL 2000
Author(s): Fischer, DG; Ovryn, B
Title: Interfacial shape and contact-angle measurement of transparent samples with confocal interference microscopy
Source: OPTICS LETTERS, 25 (7): 478-480 APR 1 2000
Author(s): Ovryn, B; Andrews, JH
Title: Measurement of changes in optical path length and reflectivity with phase-shifting laser feedback interferometry
Source: APPLIED OPTICS, 38 (10): 1959-1967 APR 1 1999
Author(s): Ovryn, B; Andrews, JH
Title: Phase-shifting laser feedback interferometry
Source: OPTICS LETTERS, 23 (14): 1078-1080 JUL 15 1998
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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
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Chemical & Engineering News highlights research by Drs. Peng Wu and Ben Ovryn, who devised a way to track the movement of single glycoprotein molecules on the surfaces of living cancer cells.