Control and self-organization of cell mechanics during tissue morphogenesis

Start Date & Time: 
Friday, 15 December, 2017 - 15:00
End Date & Time: 
Friday, 15 December, 2017 - 16:00

Meeting room 7C
Level 7

Speaker Details: 

Dr Thomas LECUIT
Collège de France Chair
Dynamics of Living Systems Tissue Architecture and Plasticity Group
IBDM, CNRS and Aix Marseille University


Epithelial tissues exhibit a remarkable dual property of robustness and fluidity. This manifests on different time and length scales and relies on unique mechanical properties of the cell cortex and on adhesive interactions between cells. We seek to understand the fundamental molecular mechanisms responsible for this property.

To that end we develop a range of approaches, from the genetic and pharmacological perturbations of molecular components, the quantitative imaging of proteins using a variety of photonic methods, probing of the physical properties of cells within intact tissues, and computational modelling of morphogenesis at different scales (molecular to tissue scales).

I will present our recent progress in understanding how cortical tension controls the dynamic remodelling of cell contacts in the primary epithelium of Drosophila embryos and how dynamic patterns of subcellular actomyosin contractility (pulses, trigger waves and flows) drive a rich repertoire of tissue morphogenetic processes. I will delineate G protein regulatory modules that control cell mechanics and reveal the role of mechano-chemical feedbacks that underlie the self-organisation of cell contractility.


Assoc Prof Wang Hongyan
Principal Investigator & Deputy Programme Director