Oriol Mane Benach

PhD Student

Morphogenesis consists of a series of complex events, including symmetry breaking, cell differentiation and shape changes. The intrinsic capacity of stem cells to self-organize into functional tissues has enabled the development of in vitro biomimetic structures such as organoids and gastruloids. These approaches have improved the understanding of the mechanisms by which signaling pathways pattern tissues, but the role of tissue mechanics in cell fate patterning remains poorly understood. Differentiation patterns require the apparition of locations with strong expression of genetic markers previously homogeneously expressed, a process called symmetry breaking. Furthermore, fate is coupled to shape, as highly curved areas contain specific cell types. During my PhD I will explore the mechanical cues regulating stem cells morphogenesis in 3D. We aim at understanding how symmetry breaking and coupling between curvature and cell fate are controlled by mechanics of the growing tissue.

In 2021 I obtained my B.Sc. program in Biology at the University of Barcelona with a specific focus on Molecular, Cell and Systems biology. I combined my bachelor’s degree with working as laboratory technician in the Cellular and Molecular mechanobiology group led by Prof. Pere Roca-Cusachs at Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC). After two years, I became research assistant at the Integrative cell and tissue Dynamics group led by Prof. Xavier Trepat, again at IBEC. The project was focused on the development of an in vitro model for studying the role of the tumor microenvironment in cancer immunotherapies outcomes In 2022 I obtained the Interdisciplinary Master in Life Sciences (IMaLiS) at École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, thanks to a Labec Memolife fellowship. As part of my master's degree, I am did my internship in the Oocyte Mechanics and Morphogenesis group, led by Marie Emilie Terret & Marie-Hélene Verlhac at Collège de France. I started my PhD in Roux lab September 2022.

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