Varun Puthumana

Modeling T cell plasma membrane phase separation

Team: Marc Jaeger (M2P2), Rémi Lasserre (CIML)

His background

October 2019 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2014 - 2019 | BSc & MSc in Physics - Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (Bhopal, India)

About his PhD project

Recent studies including those from the CIML host team suggest that upon T Cell Receptor triggering (TCR) by antigenic ligands, T cell plasma membrane undergoes a rapid change that allows the liquid-liquid phase separation segregating signaling molecules essential for the initiation of T cell activation. This event seems to be associated with significant changes in the membrane topography. Our hypothesis is that a modification of membrane curvature or a local change in membrane tension induced by TCR-ligand interactions could underline the phenomenon of phase separation observed in the T cell membrane.

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