Senior Group leader, Research Director (DR1), Deputy director of the Genetics and Developmental Biology unit
Curie Institute, Paris, France CNRS, France
Yohanns Bellaïche aims at understanding how cell fate diversity is generated during development and how organs acquire their shape. Using the Drosophila fruit fly model, his interdisciplinary group develops and uses complementary approaches including multi-scale confocal microscopy, physical measurements and opto-genetics to probe both the physical and genetics regulations that regulate collective cell movements during tissue reshaping.
Shape is a conspicuous and fundamental property of living multicellular organisms. Questions related to embryo shape or morphogenesis have naturally haunted developmental biologists for decades. Recent advances have highlighted that the understanding of the morphogenesis of proliferative tissue will require (i) the dissection of how subcellular cytoskeleton dynamics controls cellular processes such as cell division orientation and adherens junction formation; (ii) the study of the interplay between biochemical and mechanical processes regulating collective cell behaviours and thus tissue movements. In addition, whole tissue imaging has revealed that distinct local cell dynamics account for tissue shape regulation. Yet, it remains poorly explored how gene expression patterns specify distinct local cell dynamics within a proliferative epithelium.
To decipher the mechanisms of Drosophila epithelial tissue morphogenesis, Yohanns Bellaïche and his team aim to apply a series of complementary, state of the art methods (quantitative measurement of cell and tissue morphogenesis, mechanical stress inference, opto-genetics, computer simulation and advanced statistics) in order to:
1. Dissect the molecular and mechanical mechanisms regulating cytoskeleton and cell dynamics by focusing on mitotic spindle orientation and de novo adherens junction formation during cell division and cell rearrangement.
2. Link cytoskeleton organization, cell dynamics and mechanics to the regulation of large-scale tissue deformation.
3. Introduce a ‘morphogenomics’ approach to understand how combinatory gene expression patterns can account for distinct cell dynamics observed in the different regions of a tissue.
By exploring the mechanisms of tissue morphogenesis at different time-scales and length-scales, as well as by focusing both on its genetic and mechanical regulation, Yohanns Bellaïche and his team should advance the understanding of morphogenesis in animals.
• 1990 : Admis à l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon, France
• 1998 Ph. D., Harvard Medical School, Boston. USA. Norbert Perrimon's lab
• 1998 - 2003 Postdoctoral Fellow, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris. France. François Schweisguth's laboratory
• 2003 : Junior Group Leader, Curie Institute, Pasteur, France
• Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), 2013
• Elected EMBO member, 2011
• Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), 2008
• EMBO Youg Investigator, 2005
• Bronze Medal of the CNRS (Best Young Researchers), 2002
May 2013, Cell