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The mission of the Symposium of University Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) is to provide a university-wide forum for Central Washington University (CWU) students, encouraging equity, diversity, and inclusivity, representing all disciplines and experience levels, to present their mentored research, scholarship, and creative works in a juried environment that meets professional conference standards and expectations.

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Monday, May 16 • TBA
Molecular Motor Movement in a 3D Cytoskeleton Network

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The cytoskeleton of a cell is composed of microtubules, actin filaments, and intermediate filaments. Cargo, such as organelles and protein complexes, is transported around the cytoskeleton by molecular motors such as kinesin and dynein. The filament network can vary wildly from cell to cell, so modeling molecular motor movement can be challenging. The goal of this project is to use computational simulations to model the movement of multiple molecular motors within a cytoskeletal network. In order to simulate the movement of molecular motors, a model for the internal structure of the cell was first needed. To account for the variations between cells, a cubic array is established with multiple actin and microtubule filaments randomly placed within each layer of the array. A modified 3-dimensional random walk program is used to simulate the biased Brownian movement of molecular motor complexes through a cell. The bias of the Brownian motion is applied based on the molecular motor’s current position within the cytoskeletal network. Initial simulations show that molecular motor complexes will move along the filaments for the most part, but will eventually detach and undergo pure Brownian motion until they latch onto another filament.


Dominic Horne

Undergraduate, Physics


Erin Craig

Mentor, Physics

Monday May 16, 2022 TBA

Attendees (2)