Ahmad Awada

Reverse adhesive haptotaxis: from reductionist experimentation to mathematical and physical modeling

Team: Olivier Theodoly (LAI) - Julien Olivier (I2M)

His background

October 2023 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2021-2023 | Msc 2 in Immunology, Lebanese University, Hadath, Lebanon

2021-2022 | Teaching Diploma, Lebanese International University, Lebanon

2020-2021 | Msc 1 in Biochemistry, Lebanese University, Hadath, Lebanon

2017-2020 | BSc in Biochemistry, Lebanese University, Hadath, Lebanon

About his PhD project

Cell migration is essential for a numerous biological processes. In Immunology, cell migration is imperative for immune surveillance, inflammation, and response to pathogens. Additionally, the microenvironment surrounding cells, rich in signals and cues, heavily influences migration properties. My work focuses on studying the migration of T lymphocytes in controlled micro-environments. More specifically, my goal is to understand a novel phenomenon, recently revealed in the lab, in which amoeboid cells migrate away from areas of higher adhesion towards regions of lower adhesion. This counter-intuitive phenomenon, unlike the conventional guided migration towards higher adhesion seen in classical haptotaxis, was called reverse adhesive haptotaxis. This process potentially involves mechanical and biochemical cues, and I will take advantage of reductionist approaches based on microfluidics and molecular micropatterning to decipher the mechanisms in light of theoretical and mathematical models.