Dennis Bray and his research in nerve growth and cell motility

Dennis Bray and his research in nerve growth and cell motility

Dennis Bray is an active emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience. Besides, his group is also a part of the Oxford Center for Integrative System Biology.

After a first career in neurobiology, researching cell growth and movement, Dennis Bray moved to Cambridge to work on the development of computational models of cell signaling. This was particularly in relation to bacterial chemotaxis. In 2006, Bray was awarded the Microsoft European Science Award for his work on chemotaxis.

Bray’s research in cell biology

Dennis Bray was a trained biochemist at MIT and neurobiologist at Harvard Medical School before going back to the UK, where he carried out long research in the field of cell motility and nerve growth. Bray has also authored several books on molecular and cell biology. These textbooks include Molecular Biology of the Cell and Cell Movements.

Bray’s recent book named Wetware is written with the general audience in mind. Bray talks about the findings of the new discipline of systems biology to show that the internal chemistry of living cells packs a form of computation. The book argues that the computational power of cells offers the basis of all the distinctive properties of living systems, enabling organisms to embody in their internal structure, which also accounts for their intelligence and adaptability.

His exceptional work on cell growth

His recent work talks about the propagation of allosteric states in large multi-protein complexes. He has also contributed to a 2012 Alan Turing centenary symposium in Nature entitled “Is the Brain a Good Model for Machine Intelligence?,” and an essay called “Brain versus Machine.”

Dennis Bray, over the years, managed to win several awards for his work on cell growth. Apart from winning the Microsoft European Science Award for his work on chemotaxis in E. coli, he has many other honors to his name.

Bray took the help of detailed computer simulations that were tied to experimental data, to question how the macromolecular pathway controlling cell motility in bacteria works as an integrated unit. Bray’s team learned that the physical location of molecular components within the molecular jungle of the cell interior is important to determine how they function.

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