Fabio Manca

Modeling mechanosensing of T cells: from ligand-receptor bonds to cytoskeleton dynamics

Team: Laurent Limozin (LAI) - Kheya Sengupta (CINaM) - Pierre-Henri Puech (LAI)

His background

September 2019 - present | CENTURI postdoctoral fellow

2018 - 2019 | AESS - Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)

2016 - 2018 | Postdoctoral fellow - ENS Paris

2014 - 2016 | Assistant Professor - Ecole Centrale Lille

2013 - 2014 | Postdoctoral fellow - IEMN (Lille, France)

2010 - 2013 | PhD in "Condensed Matter Physics" - Physics Department, University of Cagliari (Italy)

2003 - 2009 | Master in Electronic Engineering  - Department of Engineering, University of Cagliari (Italy)

About his postdoctoral project

Mechanosensitivity in the living world is expressed at different length-scales - from the molecular to the cellular or higher level. A big current challenge is to bridge the different scales. This has particular importance in the context of T cell immune response since the T cell receptor (TCR), which is at the heart of the first steps of recognition of foreign invasions, appears to be force  ensitive. TCR mediated mechanosensitivity of T cells is still not fully explored but seems to be atypical, exhibiting a biphasic spreading response with varying substrate stiffness. In the current project, we wish to extend our meso-scale semianalytical model linking the mechanics and kinetics of adhesion molecules to cell spreading area, to account explicitly for the involvement of individual molecular species and the linkage between the ligand-receptor pair and the cytoskeleton. The post-doc fellow will (i) extend our current phenomenological model [1, 2] which is coupling bond kinetics and cytoskeleton applied force, (ii) work on the analysis and interpretation of data obtained in the lab to relate single molecule and cellular scales.