Mechanical properties of collective cellular assemblies

Date: April 22, 2021

Speaker: Dr Benoit Ladoux

Dr. Benoit Ladoux from the Institut Jacques Monod presents his lab’s works during the Alveole virtual symposium in April 2021.

Abstract: Epithelia are communities of epithelial cells with close intercellular communications and of highly ordered coordination in their motility. Tissues can adjust their internal contractile stresses and organization in response to different stimuli, leading to distinct dynamics. Mechanical properties of epithelial tissues are important for our understanding in many vital biological processes, including homeostasis, morphogenesis, and metastasis and are tightly regulated by cell-cell interactions. I will present an example highlighting the importance of cell-cell junction mechanosensitivity. And, I will discuss the emergence of collective modes of cell migration based on mechanical signals, cell polarity and cell-cell interactions.

Bio: Benoit Ladoux is a physicist by training, working on cell mechanics. Starting in the single molecule field, he developed a research activity in cell mechanics and adhesion in the laboratory Matière et Systèmes Complexes. In 2008, he was involved in the creation of the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) directed by MP. Sheetz in Singapore. After spending two years in Singapore between 2010 and 2012, he came back to Paris and joined the Institut Jacques Monod as a senior group leader together with a cell biologist, RM. Mège. In 2015, he moved from a faculty position to the CNRS as a research director. From 2012 to 2018, he shared his time between Paris and Singapore. His research aims at understanding how cell-adhesion mechanisms are associated to mechanotransduction and driven by the mechanical properties of the cellular environment and how mechanosensing regulates cell behaviors and tissue homeostasis.  He developed various tools to analyze the mechanical responses of cells to the physical properties of the environment including rigidity and topography sensing. He studied the impact of substrate stiffness, geometry and curvature on single and collective cell migration. His recent research focused on the impact of mechanics on epithelial homeostasis including cell proliferation and cell extrusion.