Guillaume Charras

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After an undergraduate degree in Physics and Engineering in Paris, I became fascinated by Cell Biology and turned my research interests to Biophysics. I was fortunate to be exposed to many facets of Bioengineering and Biophysics through my Masters degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and through my PhD work at UCL. During this time, I worked in the general area of cell mechanics using experimental techniques such as AFM and electrophysiology as well as computational simulation techniques, all of which remain key to my lab’s present research.

I then decided to do a post-doc in a Cell Biology lab to acquire training in molecular cell biology techniques in Harvard Medical school. There, I was fortunate to be exposed to the fearless experimentators of the Mitchison lab, first in the department of Cell Biology and then in the department of Systems Biology. During this time, I worked primarily on blebbing and the cell cortex, at the time a rather obscure topic. This still forms one of the research directions in my laboratory and has many connections to other parts of the lab’s research. While in Boston, a chance encounter with microfluidics led me to start working on cell migration in confined environments in collaboration with Daniel Irimia at MGH.

Since establishing my laboratory at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, my research has generally focused on cell and tissue mechanics with a focus on the cytoskeleton. However, I am curious about many aspects of Cell and Developmental Biology and often venture into other areas than my main focus. My lab’s research borrows concepts and tools from Physics and Engineering to answer fundamental questions in Cell and Developmental Biology.