Our lab focuses on mechanisms of cell dynamics: epithelial-mesenchymal transition, directional cell migration, cell polarity and tissue mechanics. We aim at understanding basic principles that rule cell movements in complex environments during embryogenesis and cancer. We use embryos as tools to better understand the function of key players in cancer progression and muscular diseases such as the extracellular matrix, metalloproteinases and guidance cues.
We use three experimental models: chicken embryo (neural crest, mesoderm), xenopus embryo (neural crest), zebrafish (mesoderm and muscle tissue). Neural Crest and mesoderm development rely on several oncogenes (snail, twist, ets...) and their overall behaviour recapitulates the main steps of tumour metastasis in a controlled, reproducible manner, facilitating experimental approaches. Mesoderm and muscle development allows use to study repeated rounds of EMT and MET in a single cell type and later study cell adhesion in cells under physical constraints (muscle contraction).
Our goal is to use our findings on experimental models to better understand cell dynamics defects occurring in diseases (cancer, inflammation) and muscle development/degeneration/regeneration.
Audrey Montigny - Engineer 2013-2015
Matthieu Brunet - Undergrad. 2015.
Anna B. Berki - Undergrad. 2015.
Elena Scarpa - EMBO short-term visiting PhD student (University College London), 2014.