Exploring the Wonders of Multicellular Biology


In the video: Using the well-established FUCCI method, we preform live visualization of cell cycle progression (multiple colors mark different stages in the cell cycle) and examine its concordance with migratory dynamics and morphology of cells and their nuclei. We aim to reveal the fundamental biophysical mechanism that connects the two apparently distinct processes – multicellular collective motion and cell division

Our research in a nutshell...

Biologists have been struggling for more than a century to understand why some cancerous cells stay put and remain dormant while others break off and invade distant regions in the body. The underlying mechanical principles of this shift in migratory state remains poorly understood. Motivated by our latest work, we aim to fill this gap with a new general guiding hypothesis. Specifically, we hypothesize that the core of a benign tumor is comprised mainly by a collection of “jammed” cells, which are packed together so tightly that they become effectively a continuous block of jammed solid-like matter. However, this solid-like tissue can “unjam” and thereby transform from a jammed rigid solid into an unjammed fluid-like malignant tumor which: 1) may shed groups of metastasizing cells and, 2) retain a high mitotic capacity in dense cell packing through the agency of intra-tumor multicellular motions.

We aim to foster in the lab a research environment that will encourage experimental exploration. The contour of exploration will be drawn around mechanical features in the collective behaviour of epithelial cells in culture conditions, such as force, motion, and shape. These will be the protagonists of each new project as it comes to life.   


Contact Us

Dr. Lior Atia


Multiple Graduate and Undergraduate positions  

We are looking for highly talented and motivated students from all fields of engineering, aiming for exploration at the interface between biology and mechanics in multi-cellular tissues.  

Open postdoctoral position

We are looking for a highly talented and motivated postdoc to join our group. We are specifically looking for candidates who specialized in aseptic cell culture techniques and fluorescence imaging, and with an interdisciplinary background in the fields of physics/engineering and cellular biology.

Funding Sources