Physics of CELL DYNAMICS & tissue morphogenesis


We aim to understand the physical principles that underpin the morphogenesis of animals. To do so, we develop and apply quantitative approaches to observe, perturb and predict morphogenetic movements.

How do organisms take shape?

Watching how living systems organize

Finding the physical principles 

Our work addresses fundamental questions in the morphogenesis of multicellular systems: how do cells generate, transmit and respond to mechanical forces from the supramolecular to the multicellular scale? How are these forces coupled to cell signaling and differentiation processes?  How do organized and functional structures emerge from such interactions? To address these questions, we focus on three aspects of morphogenesis:

(1) The organization and supramolecular dynamics of cell contacts;

(2) The mechanics of cell contacts and their remodeling;

(3) The mechanochemical state changes in multicellular self-organization.

We develop both experimental and theoretical approaches to study several in vivo and in vitro multicellular systems: mouse embryonic organoids, C. elegans embryos, and bird embryos. The originality of our approach lies in the integration of both physics (imaging/mechanics/modeling) and experimental biology to study tissue morphogenesis quantitatively.