During recent years biology has integrated new approaches to analyse the dynamics and the mechanics of supramolecular structures. Moving away from the qualitative study of individual components, biology is ready to welcome quantitative studies addressing the physics of living systems. In this context, our group tackles questions concerning the dynamics of muticellular systems, with a special focus on the forces shaping cells in developing embryos. We try to understand how forces are produced in cells, how they transmit from individual cells to their neighbours and how such forces drive morphogenetic movements. To get insight into the molecular origin of these forces we also study the supramolecular organization of force generators and transmitters.Go to research page
By nature, our work is multidisciplinary and integrates physical/mechanical and molecular/genetic approaches. In particular we develop microscopes to observe subcellular structures at high resolution and probe the local mechanics of cells. We also use modeling to make quantitative and falsifiable predictions, which we test experimentally. Modeling is also a guide for new experiments. We hope that such approaches may shed light on biological processes at different scales.
Posted on 2012-12-18