Areas of Research: Biomechanics and mechanobiology. Our lab studies diverse mechanical behaviors of biological matters, using cutting-edge computational models, which span subcellular levels to the cell and tissue levels.
Project 1: Molecular Mechanism of Actomyosin Contractility
Interaction of actin and myosin generates contractile forces, which is essential for regulating various cellular functions. The acto-myosin machinery exists largely in the form of either bundles or networks within cells. Little is known about how macroscopic acto-myosin contractility emerges from microscopic properties and interactions. We will investigate the molecular origin of acto-myosin contractility in a variety of acto-myosin structures including cortical and cytoplasmic networks, stress fibers, and contractile rings.
Project 2: Mechanotransduction of cells and tissues
Mutual communication between external and internal forces is indispensable for viability of normal cells as well as malignant cells. Predicting how such forces are transmitted throughout the cells can help understand the biological influences of various types of mechanical perturbations. Using the cell model that encompasses acto-myosin structures, nucleus, and membrane, we will explore the propagation of external forces to each part of the intracellular structures to shed light on cell mechanotransduction. In addition, we will investigate how internal contractile forces generated by myosins propagate to and modulate extracellular environments.
1-2 PhD students interested in computational modeling of molecular, cellular, and tissue biomechanics with experience of C programming.