Maxime Lucas (IBDM - I2M - CPT)

A Multiscale Analysis of Cell Polarity Transitions in a Bacterium

Team: Bianca Habermann (IBDM) - Laurent Tichit (I2M) - Alain Barrat (CPT)

His background

June 2019 - present | CENTURI postdoctoral fellow

2015 - 2019 | PhD, Synchronisation and stability in nonautonomous oscillatory systems - Lancaster University (UK) and University of Florence (Italy)

2014-2015 | Master’s in Artificial Intelligence - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)

2014 | MSc degree in Physics - Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels - Belgium)

About his postdoctoral project

Cell decisions are governed by complex regulatory networks that integrate changes in the environment and convey a cellular response. Understanding the functioning of these networks is a major challenge because they are generally obtained from fragmentary datasets that lack both quantitative and spatiotemporal information. As a result, the genetic pathways mostly consist of blueprints that capture the interactions between the components but generally fail to contain mechanistic and thus predictive value. Given that molecular interactions are in essence only amenable to low-throughput analyses, any first attempt in modeling dynamic networks must focus on highly tractable experimental systems.

This project will combine biophysical cell mimetic assays, genetic live experiments and computational simulations of higher-order networks to provide a first spatiotemporal model of the protein-protein interactions that drive protein oscillations. In the long run, this work will serve as a framework to study single cell decisions in multicellular contexts, a question of general significance in higher organisms.