Our lab studies fundamental aspects of cellular mechanobiology, i.e., how cells sense the mechanical features of the extracellular matrix, and how these features affect cellular behavior under normal and disease conditions. We are particularly interested in the underlying biophysical aspects of cancer.
Our aim is to identify new avenues to attack cancer, with the premise that the mechanobiological cellular pathways (the adhesion and cytoskeletal systems) are vulnerable to treatment since they have much less redundancy compared to biochemical pathways.
We are looking for students and postdocs to join. Please contact us.
Cells sense the mechanical features of the extracellular matrix by applying forces to it through integrin adhesions. This process (termed ‘mechanosensing’) occurs on short time- and length-scales, but it affects global cellular functions that occur on timescales of hours-to-days. In the lab, we are studying how the mechanical signals are transmitted to affect cellular decisions under normal conditions, and how this process is altered in cancer cells which effectively ignore the mechanical properties of the matrix. Read more…