Our lab is interested in understanding how mechanical forces organize structure and contributes to the signaling at cell-cell junctions. We tackle this problem at the single junction scale as well as at the organ level.
Our overaching hypothesis is that the spatial structuration of cell and their adhesion to the Extracellular matrix results in specific and anisotropic distribution of mechanical constrains at the cell-cell contact. In turn the distribution of constrain, at the molecular lever, both lead and result from an asymmetric distribution of adhesive molecules (Cadherins, Tight junction proteins) at the contact.
We wish to understand how mechanical forces and molecular signaling synergize to structure, maintain the junction. We also explore how mechanical cues modulate receptor signaling resulting in distinct outcomes in term of cell fates.
To this end we have four research directions in the lab:
To develop tools to control and assess and image mechanical forces at cell-cell junction;
To study the Mechanobiology of single cell-cell contact s of epithelial and liver cells;
To use organoids to understand the functional outcome of mechanical forces;
To develop screening behavioral assays to sort cells based on their response to mechanical stimuli.
Our research is highly multidisciplinary spanning biology, biophysics, imaging, microfabrication, modeling and automation.
The main drivers of the group are curiosity, creativity, team work and fun.