top of page
Pencil fly_edited.jpg

Elucidating the molecular principles that shape neural mechanobiology

​​Life as we know it crucially depends on the faculty of cells and tissues to 'read' and respond to both intrinsic and extrinsic mechanical cues. Yet, the identity of the force sensing molecules responsible and the underlying mechanisms at play remain often elusive. 


Our overarching goal is to gain insight into physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms that dictate the mechanics of cells and tissues, thus elucidating structural, developmental and functional aspects of nervous tissue biology.


At the center of this work are adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (adhesion GPCR), which recently emerged as a novel class of molecular force sensors. These huge cell surface molecules are signified by complex activation and signaling profiles, whose details remain to be uncovered.   


Currently, we focus on understanding how the mechanosensitive capabilities of adhesion GPCR intersect with their vivid alternative splicing activities, and how adhesion GPCR 'talk' to other molecules to relay signals within and across neural cells.


Our long-term goal, is to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep-dependent brain detox programs, how such mechanisms change with age, and finally how cellular neuromechanics partake in the initiation and/or progression of mechanopathologies such as glaucoma and cancer.


​​To these ends, we utilize the model organism Drosophila melanogaster for readouts on genetic, biochemical, immunohistochemical, behavioral and functional levels in combination with vertebrate and invertebrate cell-based in vitro approaches.

bottom of page