Biophysics of single cells and tissues

Our lab focuses on understanding the interplay between cytoskeletal organisation and the mechanics of cells and tissues. Our work is organised around four main themes:

  • the cellular actin cortex: we are trying to understand the dynamic molecular mechanisms responsible for homeostasis of the actin cortex and the control of cortical mechanics.
  • mechanics of cells and simple tissues: we are investigating how cellular and subcellular mechanics participate in setting tissue mechanical properties.
  • cell migration: we utilise microfluidic devices to examine the biological and physical mechanisms underlying transmigration of neutrophils and their migration through confined environments.
  • cell competition: we are investigating how cancerous cells with different oncogenic mutations compete for limited space and nutrients and how is this competition altered by environmental conditions.

In our research, we combine analytical and characterisation techniques from physics and engineering with molecular cell biology techniques and optical microscopy to study questions relevant to cell and developmental biology.