Group leader position
The Cell Biology department at the Institut Curie (UMR 144 Institut Curie/CNRS) in Paris is inviting applications from outstanding candidates interested in normal epithelium and cancer stem cells biology. Priority will be given to projects focused on mammary gland development, mammary stem cell biology and the mechanisms of breast cancer.
Systems Cell Biology of Cell polarity and Cell division
Group leader : Matthieu Piel
Our team studies cell polarization, a process which involves a reorganization of the cell cytoskeleton and movement of cellular organelles, usually triggered by external cues. We are particularly interested in cell polarity in the context of cell migration and cell division. We develop and use innovative tools based on nano and micro-fabrication techniques, to control and modulate the main physical and chemical parameters of the cell micro-environment. These tools are coupled with high quality quantitative microscopy, and used alongside molecular and cell biology techniques, to obtain a quantitative description of the cell behavior. As well as highlighting new basic concepts about cell polarity, our multidisciplinary approach leads to the development of novel tools with potential applications in biomedical research.
We have demonstrated that micro-patterns of extra-cellular matrix molecules are able to determine the polarity and division axis of cultured cells (Théry, Nat Cell Biol 2005, PNAS 2006, Jiang PNAS 2006). This discovery was patented and licensed to a start-up company (CYTOO, created in 2008). We also discovered a new mechanism of cell morphogenesis (Terenna, Curr Biol 2008), a new pathway coordinating cell migration and antigen uptake in dendritic cells (Faure-André, Science 2008), and demonstrated a link between external forces and mitotic spindle orientation (Fink, Nat Cell Biol 2011). Our expertise in using a combination of microfluidics and live-cell microscopy lead to several fruitful international collaborations.
The focus of our current research is how cells proliferate and migrate when space is limited. We want to understand how cells (immune cells and cancer cells) can produce efficient motion under confinement and squeeze through small holes. We also want to understand how physical constrains affect dividing cells.
Our current project on cell proliferation under external constrains has been awarded an ERC Consolidator grant in 2012.
Our team is part of the Institut Pierre-Gilles de Gennes pour la microfluidique. Follow this link to access our website on the IPGG.
M. Piel is author of 74 publications (H factor 34). He holds three patents, and is a co-founder of the CYTOO Company. He started a club ‘micro-fabrication for cell biology’ at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Institut Cochin and is one of the founding teams of Institut Pierre Gille de Gennes for Microfluidics. He also teaches cell biology and biophysics in several master courses in Paris. He has been invited to 40 international meetings and 50 seminars in the last 5 years. He was awaded the Bronze medal of CNRS in 2012.
Adhesive control of internal cell organisation is an efficient and low-cost method that allows screening of genes or compounds activities on cell functions encompassing polarity, motility and division as well as internal compartmentalisation and transport.
Bornens M, Thery M and Piel M : Methods and Device for Adhesive Control of Internal Cell Organization (ACICO). Mars 2005 (PCT: WO026313), mai 2007 (Europe: 1664266), février 2007 (USA: 004283-A1), mars 2007 (Japon: 504818).
Le Berre M, Piel M, Liu YJ : Device for guiding cell migration and methods of guiding cell migration implementing such a device