Athullya Baby

Quantitative analysis and simulation of fluid flows powered by cilia in vivo

Team: Laurent Kodjabachian (IBDM), Annie Viallat (CINaM), Julien Favier (M2P2)

Her background

October 2019 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2014 - 2019 | BSc & MSc (dual degree program) in Physics - Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal (India)

About her PhD project

Ciliated epithelia are present throughout evolution and serve functions ranging from locomotion of marine larvae to mucociliary clearance of pathogens from human airways. These functions are supported by the coordinated beating of myriads of motile cilia at the surface of multiciliated cells (MCCs), which generates robust and regular waves of fluid. The production of such waves depends on multiple parameters integrated across micrometric to millimetric scales, such as MCC density and cilia orientation. These parameters can be adequately studied in the larval mucociliary skin of the amphibian Xenopus, which is organized like the human airway epithelium, but is much easier to manipulate and film. This project will bridge the gap between biology, physics and numerical simulation to bring a new perspective to the understanding of respiratory diseases characterized by altered cilia-driven mucociliary transport, such as COPD or cystic fibrosis.