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Foundation Day Lectures
Satyajit Mayor (NCBS-TIFR, Bangalore)
Date & Time
13 December 2022, 17:30 to 19:00
Chandrasekhar Auditorium, ICTS


The edge of a living cell is a flimsy four nanometer wide lipidic membrane bilayer that separates the outside of the cell from the inside. Its structure and organization has been the subject of research for close to a hundred years. In fact 50 years ago almost to date, a unifying model called the fluid-mosaic model was proposed to provide an explanation for some of its physical and chemical properties. This model declared that the plasma membrane was a complex mixture of lipids and proteins which were well mixed.  Today we recognize that the membrane is far from being well-mixed. Its organization, form and physico-chemical properties are impacted not only by its dynamically maintained composition but by its interaction with the extracellular environment as well as the energy consuming scaffold (also called the cortical cytoskeleton) that it is draped over.  My talk will describe the evolution of our thinking about the membrane and provide a perspective on how we see this part of the cell behave as an active actin membrane composite, and how as a uniquely living material it influences many decisions that the cell must make.

About the Speaker:

Satyajit (Jitu) Mayor is a cell biologist. He currently serves as the Director of the National Centre for Biological Sciences, a centre of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Bangalore, India. Mayor studied Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India and obtained his Ph.D. in Life sciences from The Rockefeller University, New York, USA. Mayor studies the fine structure, function and dynamics of the membrane of living cells using methods derived from biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics. This has led him to explore how cells interpret information from their extracellular milieu, including interpreting the mechanical environment of cells in tissue contexts. His work has provided a new understanding of how membrane structure and composition are regulated in living cells, and a deeper perspective on the functioning and roles of non-clathrin endocytic pathways. Mayor is an International Member of the US National Academy of Science, a Foreign Fellow of EMBO, and a Fellow of TWAS, Trieste, Italy the Indian National Science Academy and the National Academy of Science, India.