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PhD opening in theoretical modeling and computer simulation of cell and tissue mechanobiology

Marino Arroyo's picture

Mechanics fundamentally governs the way cells and tissues adopt their functional shapes, the way they resist stresses, and the way they move, individually or collectively. In turn, mechanical forces critically influence cell behavior. Over the last decade, the field of mechanobiology has emerged, emphasizing the tight interplay between mechanics and biological function. Interestingly, many important phenomena associated to cell and tissue structural organization and dynamics, relevant to development and disease, can be studied with mathematical models involving partial differential equations, possibly combined with stochastic and/or discrete ingredients. However, the formulation of these models is challenging for various reasons: they involve coupled phenomena including elasticity, hydrodynamics and chemistry, they are fundamentally out-of-equilibrium, they are highly nonlinear, and they often couple interfacial and bulk phenomena (e.g. at the cell envelop and the cytosol).

The goal of the project funding this fellowship (a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council) is to develop theoretical models and simulation methods to understand the mechanical organization and dynamics of epithelial cells and tissues, in particular regarding their remodeling in-plane and in 3D, and their ability to resist mechanical stresses. The specific research project can be adapted to the interests and qualifications of the applicant. This interdisciplinary research involves about 10 researchers (PhD and postdocs) within the group of Marino Arroyo, a professor at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona, Spain, and an associated researcher at the Institute for BioEngineering of Catanlunya (IBEC). We tightly collaborate with experimental groups at IBEC and elsewhere.

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