physics of living surfaces

lab philosophy

At all scales, biological entities are separated from their environment by surfaces. For instance, embryos are delimited by a cell monolayer, and cells are delimited by a lipid bilayer. We explore the common biological and mechanical mechanisms by which these surfaces are deformed during physiological processes such as membrane traffic or organogenesis.

Our experimental strategy is a bottom-up approach, using reconstitution assays to reproduce in vitro processes seen in living systems at every scale. We quantify relevant parameters of reconstituted processes (biological, chemical or physical parameters), and compare them with theoretical predictions done in collaboration with theory groups. This way, we understand the mechanisms at play. Overall, our goal is not to discover the function of genes or molecules involved in a specific physiological process, but rather to provide robust quantitative data about how they work to perform their function.

Our lab is highly interdisciplinary, mixing biologists, physicists and chemists. Each one has its own scientific identity but is interacting with scientists from other areas within the lab. Thus, you don't need to come to the lab with interdisciplinary training, that what our lab will provide to you.

research focuses