Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Harvard Bio Labs
16 Divinity Avenue, Room 3067
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-4217, Fax: 617-496-1114
Physical interactions lie at the heart of all biological processes. My interests lie in understanding how these interactions enable (and constrain) the ways organisms move and interact with each other and their surroundings. In many bacteria, motility is enabled by a marvelous tiny rotary motor made up of several protein components. The motor is capable of modulating its direction of rotation as well as the torque output, depending on physical and chemical environment. Under low load conditions, the motor is driven by only one or two force-generating units, and upon an increase in external load, more force-generating units are sequentially added. What happens upon a reduction in the load on the motor has not been observed. I am currently working on an experiment to quantify the motor response to a sudden reduction in load. We hypothesize that force-generating units are removed from the motor assembly when the load is reduced, and we aim to quantify the rate at which that happens. Adaptation in the motor in response to the externally applied load may allow the bacterium to sense the external mechanical environment.
Martens E.*, Wadhwa N.*, Jacobsen N.S., Lindemann C., Andersen K.H., and Visser A. Size structures sensory hierarchy in ocean life, Proc. R. Soc. B 282, 20151346 (2015).
Andersen A., Wadhwa N., and Kiørboe T. Quiet swimming at low Reynolds number, Phys. Rev. E 91, 042712 (2015).
Kiørboe T., Jiang H., Gonçalves R.J., Nielsen L.T., and Wadhwa N. Flow disturbances generated by feeding and swimming zooplankton, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111, 11738-11743 (2014).
Wadhwa N., Andersen A., and Kiørboe T. Hydrodynamics and energetics of jumping copepod nauplii and adults, J. Exp. Biol. 217, 3085-3094 (2014).
Wadhwa N., Vlachos P., and Jung S. Non-coalescence in the oblique collision of fluid jets, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 124502 (2013).
Wadhwa N. and Jung S. Non-coalescence of jets, Phys. Fluids 23, 091105 (2011).