A remarkable feature of living systems is their capacity to break symmetry and self-organize to execute complex physiological and developmental programs.
Self-organization of a biological system is fundamentally a multi-scale problem given that molecular interactions (10-9 m) need to be translated into emergent cellular- (10-6 m) and tissue-scale properties (10-2 m). To understand how complex tissue behaviors emerge from molecular mechanisms my research merges molecular, cell and developmental biology with the frameworks of statistical mechanics and active matter. This interdisciplinary approach is particularly useful to identify the key mesoscale principles and properties that determine the state of a system and its collective behavior.
During my graduate work I used this approach to elucidate the mechanisms of pattern formation during organ morphogenesis and to study how cell migration is guided by the geometry of the extra-cellular environment. Currently I am investigating how cells integrate physical and molecular cues to generate organ-scale fluid flows driven by motile cilia.
To learn more about my research you can click here.