Group N. Pujol: Mechanobiology & innate immunity in C. elegans   

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Apical extracellular matrix (aECM) shapes and protects the epithelium in all organisms.

We previously showed that like skin damage or infection, changing the mechanical properties of the aECM activate an immune response in the C. elegans epidermis. Using interdisciplinary approaches, our aim is to decipher how the epidermis is sensing the mechanical state of the aECM. Our studies are expected to give fundamental insights into how the aECM physical properties affect immunity in other animals.



- characterise the cellular structure(s) relaying aECM tension to the epidermis, through cell biology & high resolution microscopy?

- define the biophysical properties of the skin and formulate a predictive model?

- identify the key components of the mechano-sensing and signalling pathway through forward and reverse genetics.


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