Niels Gouirand

Deciphering the interplay between cell polarity and inter-cellular forces in epithelial 3D organization

Team: Elsa Bazellières (IBDM)- Matthias Merkel (CPT)

His background

September 2019 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2016 - 2018 | MSc Neuroscience - Aix-Marseille University (France)

2013 - 2016 | BSc in Physiology and Neurosciences - Aix-Marseille University (France)

About his PhD project

Epithelial tissues are 3D cell sheets that display a high degree of organization, including cell polarity (reflected in an asymmetric localization of polarity proteins), characteristic cell shapes, and a layered structure. However, this organization is lost during cancer progression, when cells start to migrate. How exactly epithelial organization is controlled has remained elusive, but biophysical studies point towards complex interactions between chemical, genetic, and mechanical signals like inter-cellular forces. Within this project, we will study how epithelia with different genetic backgrounds adapt their organization and forces in response to their mechanical environment.