Charles W Wolgemuth, PhD

Associate Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Associate Professor, Applied Mathematics - GIDP
Email Address: 
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-1622
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Wolgemuth's research focuses on understanding the biophysical mechanisms that cells use to move, grow, and maintain their shape.  Their current research is focused on understanding the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms that underlie eukaryotic cell crawling, the collective migration of cells during wound healing and cancer metastasis, and the pathogen-host interactions that occur during Lyme disease.  His group utilizes a mix of computational modeling and experiments. The experiments that they perform typically involve live cell imaging to measure how biochemical, genetic, or environmental alterations alter the motility and/or growth of cells.

The models that they are developing provide predictive relationships between multi-molecular behavior and cell function and are developed in such a way that predictions from the models can be directly tested experimentally. In addition, they have been developing algorithms for handling moving boundary problems that involve reaction-diffusion systems and solid and fluid mechanics.  One of their more recent advances was to show that a model for the physics of epithelial dynamics can reproduce some the early stages of cancer metastasis. 

They are currently collaborating with other groups in the Cancer Center, most specifically Dr. Jesse Martinez, to determine whether this model is predictive and can be used to pinpoint the essential physical alterations that drive the transition to metastasis.  Because Dr. Wolgemuth's research is broadly interdisciplinary, his lab is able to interact and collaborate with groups from MCB, Cancer Biology, Engineering, Biochemistry, Physics and Mathematics. 

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Biology
Selected Publications: 

Dr. Wolgemuth's NCBI bibliography

  1. P. Lee and C.W. Wolgemuth. Crawling cells can close wounds without purse strings or signaling. PLoS Comput. Biol. 7, e1002007 (2011).
  2. C.W. Wolgemuth, J. Stajic, and A. Mogilner. Redundant mechanisms for stable cell locomotion revealed by minimal models. Biophys. J. 101, 545-553 (2011).
  3. M. Harman, S.M. Dunham-Ems, M.J. Caimano, A.A. Belperron, L.K. Bockenstedt, H. Fu, J.D. Radolf, and C.W. Wolgemuth. The heterogeneous motility of the Lyme disease spirochete in gelatin matrices mimics dissemination through tissue. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 3059-3064 (2012).
  4. A.M.T. Belgrave and C.W. Wolgemuth. Elasticity and biochemistry of growth relate replication rate to length and cross-link density in rod-shaped bacteria. Biophys. J. 104, 2607-2611 (2013).
  5. D.K. Vig and C.W. Wolgemuth. Spatiotemporal evolution of Erythema migrans, the hallmark rash of Lyme disease. Biophys. J. 106, 763-768 (2014).

Academic Information

Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Master's Degree: 
MS, Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Undergraduate School: 
BS, Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ