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Dimitrios Vavylonis portrait

Dimitrios Vavylonis


Lewis Lab 415

2000 PhD in Physics, Columbia University, New York NY

1998 M.Phil. in Physics, Columbia University, New York NY

1996 M.A. in Physics, Columbia University, New York NY

1994 Ptychion (B.Sc.) in Physics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Research Areas

Additional Interests

  • Biophysical Modeling and Simulation
  • Cytoskeleton and Biopolymer Dynamics
  • Cell Mechanics
  • Cell Motion, Polarization and Division

Research Statement

We develop mathematical and computational models in the general area of cellular biophysics. Our motivation is to better understand the physical principles that underlie the internal organization, morphogenesis and biomechanics of living cells between molecular and cellular scales. 

We have an interest in the actin cytoskeleton. Networks and bundles of actin filaments spontaneously form subcellular structures with mechanical integrity that provide cells with shape, generate mechanical forces and movement by polymerization, and act as tracks for motor proteins.

In collaboration with biologists and computer scientists, we apply methods from statistical physics, soft matter physics, and nonlinear dynamics to study biological processes such as the function of the actomyosin contractile ring during cytokinesis and cell polarization for cell motion, mating, and growth.


Dr. Vavylonis received his doctorate and master's degree in physics from Columbia University and his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Athens. He joined Lehigh following postdoctoral work in Columbia's department of chemical engineering and Yale's department of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. At Lehigh he received the Libsch Early Career Research Award and was promoted to the rank of Professor. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Computational Biology at the Flatiron Institute in New York. He had visiting positions at the University of Lausanne, AMOLF (Amsterdam) and Kyoto University. He is an editorial board member of Biophysical Journal, Cytoskeleton and Scientific Reports.

Representative Recent Publications:

  1. R. Bhattacharjee, A. R. Hall, M. C. Mangione, M. G. Igarashi, R. H. Roberts-Galbraith, J.-S. Chen, D. Vavylonis, K. L. Gould, "Multiple polarity kinases inhibit phase separation of F-BAR protein Cdc15 and antagonize cytokinetic ring assembly in fission yeast," bioRxiv
  2. D. Holz, A. R. Hall, E. Usukura, S. Yamashiro, N. Watanabe and D. Vavylonis, "A mechanism with severing near barbed ends and annealing explains structure and dynamics of dendritic actin networks," eLife 11:e69031(2022)
  3. D. Rutkowski and D. Vavylonis, "Discrete mechanical model of lamellipodial actin network implements molecular clutch mechanism and generates arcs and microspikes," PLOS Comp. Biol. 17: e1009506 (2021)
  4. V. Gerganova, I. Lamas, D. M. Rutkowski, A. Vještica, D. G. Castro, V. Vincenzetti, D. Vavylonis, S. G. Martin, "Cell patterning by secretion-induced plasma membrane flows," Science Advances 7:eabg6718 (2021)
  5. B. G. Horan, A. R. Hall and D. Vavylonis, "Insights into actin polymerization and nucleation using a coarse grained model," Biophys. J. 119:553-566 (2020)
  6. M. Adeli Koudehi, D. M. Rutkowski and D. Vavylonis, "Organization of Associating or Crosslinked Actin Filaments in Confinement," Cytoskeleton 76:532-548 (2019)
  7. B. Khalili, L. Merlini, V. Vincenzetti, S. G. Martin, and D. Vavylonis, "Exploration and Stabilization of Ras1 Mating Zone: a Mechanism with Positive and Negative Feedbacks" PLOS Comp. Biol., 2018, 14:e1006317.


Spring 2023  PHY 496 Machine Learning for Physics Research
Fall 2021       PHY-420 Graduate Mechanics
Spring 2021  PHY 380 Introduction to Computational Physics
Fall 2020       PHY 420 Graduate Mechanics
Spring 2020  PHY 442 Graduate Statistical Mechanics