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Unit
PASCAL HERSEN / MATHIEU COPPEY
Physics of Cells and Cancer (UMR168)

The goal of the unit is to uncover the role of physical laws in the architecture and functions of cellular systems. To this end, the teams follow cross-disciplinary approaches involving physics, chemistry and biology.

 

Key figures
150
physicists, chemists and biologists, including 35 researchers, 39 PhD students, 31 postdoctoral fellows and 28 technicians and engineers
13
Research teams labeled by prestigious funding agencies (ERC, ANR, H2020, FRM, ARC, La Ligue, etc ...)
4
state of the arts platforms in biochemistry and molecular biology, microfluidics, microfabrication, electron microscopy
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Scientific events
20 Mar
2024
Seminar
11h-23h
Eukaryotic-like gephyrin and cognate membrane receptor coordinate corynebacterial cell division and polar elongation
The order Corynebacteriales includes major industrial and pathogenic actinobacteria such as Corynebacterium glutamicum or Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Their elaborate multi-layered cell wall and their polar growth mode impose a stringent coordination between the septal divisome, organized around the tubulin-like protein FtsZ, and the polar elongasome, assembled around the tropomyosin-like protein W
13 Mar
2024
Seminar
11h-23h
Computational Microscopy of Biomembranes: bridging the gap between simple models and complex reality
Biomembranes are fundamental to cell biology. They are a complex two-dimensional fluid, composed of myriad proteins and lipid species, which provide identity to the cell and to many internal organelles. Membrane spatial (shape) and lateral organization are two intriguing aspects of biomembranes, often connected, that are continuously adopted in a living cell to accommodate important cellular proce
28 Feb
2024
Seminar
11h-23h
Recording bioelectric signaling in human breast cancer cells and cell networks
Cancer cells are known to exhibit abnormal electrical properties compared to their healthy counterparts, and this has driven researchers to investigate the potential of harnessing bioelectricity as a tool in cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. In parallel, cancer bioelectricity represents one of the means to gain fundamental insights on how electrical signals and charges play a role in can
27 Feb
2024
Seminar
14h-23h
Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS): Non-equilibrium effects at the mesoscale
Phase separation is generally a thermodynamic process in which a mixture reaches its lowest free energy state by self-assembling into meso- (or macro-) scale regions that are concentrated or dilute in a given molecular component.  A rapidly growing body of experiments suggests that phase separation is responsible for the formation of membraneless domains (also known as biomolecular condensate
14 Feb
2024
Seminar
11h-23h
Machine learning interpretable models of cell mechanics and morphogenesis
Cellular form and function emerge from complex mechanochemical systems within the cytoplasm. Currently, no systematic strategy exists to infer large-scale physical properties of a cell or tissue from molecular components. Here, we develop a data-driven modeling pipeline to learn the mechanical behavior of adherent cells. We first train neural networks to predict cellular forces from images of cyto
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