Jack Llewellyn

Uncover the Interplay Between Signalling Dynamics and Cell Mechanics During Early Fate Acquisition in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Team: Rosanna Dono (DR2 - IBDM) - Emmanuèle Helfer (CINAM)

His background

October 2021 - present | CENTURI postdoctoral fellow

2016 - 2021 | PhD, Quantitative and Biophysical Biology, University of Manchester

2012 - 2016 | Msc Mathematics and Physics, University of Manchester

About his postdoctoral project

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), considered as in vitro equivalent of human epiblast, are a powerful model to study mechanisms underlying embryonic germ layer differentiation. Regulation of hiPSC fate change relies on dynamic interactions between physical and biochemical cues. We have shown that disruption of the hiPSC epithelial organization permits perception of differentiation signals by hiPSCs and the lineage differentiation process. Building on this knowledge, we will explore how mechanical cues mediated by cell-cell contacts and substrate stiffness crosstalk with signals to regulate hiPSCs lineage determination. We will follow molecular/cellular characteristics and correlate them with biophysical properties investigated using traction force (TFM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). We will grow hiPSCs as conventional conditions and as micropatterned colonies. In the latter simultaneous differentiation of the three germ layers in a spatially organized profile permits assessing whether and how changes in physical cues impact on germ layer patterning.