LabEx Cell(n)Scale

Groundbreaking projects

In 2016, five Groundbreaking Projects were selected based on their collaborative nature and a high risk/high gain perspective. The goal was to support truly innovative projects going well beyond the current state-of-the-art and potentially still at an early stage. Selection was made by an external jury composed of highly recognized scientists, following an internal project call. The selected projects received 200 to 250k€ grants. They have been key in bringing teams together, leveraging LabEx interdisciplinarity and developing breakthrough innovative approaches.
Groundbreaking projects - image vlcsnap
  • Designer DNA nanodevices for measuring forces at nanoscale on membranes (DNA-ForceSensor)

L. Johannes (coordinator, team leader UMR3666), D. Bhaia (team Johannes UMR3666), P. Bassereau (team leader UMR168), R. Rodriguez (team leader UMR3666)

Objective: Develop novel force sensors to measure such fluctuation forces operating at nanoscales on membranes using DNA-based nanomachines coupled to Shiga toxin (or other membrane proteins) using single molecule FRET as a readout.

Methods/technologies: DNA nanodevices, CLICK chemistry, giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) and micropipette aspiration, single molecule FRE

Keywords: physics and chemistry-based tools, biomimetics, membrane dynamics

  • Probing chromosome mechanics and organization with intra-nuclear magnetic manipulation (ChroMag)

M. Dahan (coordinator, team leader UMR168), D. Fachinetti (team leader UMR144), A. Coulon (team leader UMR168/UMR3664)

Objective: Develop a groundbreaking method combining advanced magnetic micromanipulation techniques with CRISPRCas9/ TALE technologies to mechanically manipulate specific genomic loci at the single cell level in living cells.

Methods/technologies: Genome engineering, nuclear membrane tethering, highthroughput single molecule fishing (multicolor; magnetic micromanipulation)

Keywords: chromatin dynamics/architecture, single molecule analysis and tools

  • Spatial and biochemical regulation of organelle identity (orgID)

M. Coppey (coordinator, team leader UMR168), F. Perez (team leader UMR144), P. Sens (team leader UMR168), B. Goud (team leader UMR144)

Objective: Shed light on the physical and biochemical principles that integrate molecular interactions with material fluxes to define organelle identity; combining acute perturbations on single cells and theoretical modeling to decipher the relative contribution of spatially dependent fluxes and biochemical interactions in defining organelle identity.

Methods/Technologies: Reversible chemical and optogenetic protein-protein interaction manipulation, theoretical modeling at the molecular and organelle levels

Keywords: biomechanical and biochemical regulation, organelle identity, optogenetic tools

  • How is cell size determined (CELLSIZE)

M. Bornens (coordinator, team Goud, UMR144), JF. Joanny (team Sens UMR168), C. Lamaze (team leader UMR3666)

Objective: Investigate the extent to which cell size relies on cytoplasmic mechanism rather than on DNA-binding protein titration.

Methods/technologies: CTR-less cells, lens-free microscopy, siRNA, Crispr/Cas9

Keywords: cell size, intracellular transport, biomimetics

  • Recapitulation of spatial constraints on neocortical stem cells: impact on cell fate and mitotic accuracy (StemDivPhys)

A. Baffet (coordinator, team leader UMR144), C. Villard (team leader UMR168), V. Marthiens (team Basto UMR144)

Objective: Develop novel biophysical tools to recapitulate the space constraints and compartmentalization faced by individual neural stem cells, to investigate the contribution of cortical tension on spindle robustness and to physically isolate neural stem cell cytoplasmic processes and investigate polarized trafficking mechanisms.

Methods/Technologies: Primary culture of embryonic neural stem cells in vitro, microfluidics, micropatterns (RNA-seq, Mass-spec, FISH)

Keywords: cellular trafficking, cell polarity, microfluidic tools, mechanical contraints, mitosis