Cells and Systems (CAS) Lab

ECU Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building; 101 E 10th St, Greenville, NC 27858

About the CAS Lab

We study how cells and cell collectives compute their physiological states from information in their local microenvironment. Our integrative approach to answering that question involves mathematical/computational modeling paired with wet-lab experiments. We primarily study male gametes (sperm) in the context of reproduction because they are a simplified model of eukaryotic cell physiology, exhibit remarkable functional diversity, and are produced in extremely large numbers which give rise to rich cell population dynamics. Broad impact of our research is aimed at improving assisted reproduction, family planning technologies, agriculture, and environmental toxicology.


Integrative Science

We use computational modeling to sharpen our research questions, and in the lab, we collect data and test hypotheses to improve our models. We use high resolution respirometry, potentiometry, spectrophotometry, fluorometry, light microscopy, modeling, and mathematical thinking to better understand how physiological function arises from large numbers, energy transformations, and autonomous 'control' phenomena. 

Student Focused Research Experience

Our research focus encompasses measuring, and thinking deeply about, biological phenomena. Students that join the lab will create a personalized training plan involving several core development areas: 

We have some limited opportunities to work directly in the laboratory, and we will work hard to ensure that we can support as many students as possible. For self motivated and independent thinking students that aren't able to commit in-person time to the lab, we can structure training around learning and applying computational approaches and resources.

We are located in Greenville, North Carolina (The Greatest City on Earth)

East Carolina University, Dept. of Biology

Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building (Office: 2414)

Email: schmidtc18@ecu.edu