Virgile Viasnoff

Principal Investigator, MBI

lab: Biomechanics of Cell-Cell Contacts

Charge de Recherche 1st Class CNRS/ France,
Associate Professor, National University of Singapore

Cell-cell adhesion, microfabrication of controlled environment for cell culture, biophysics of single molecules.

Cell-cell adhesion is a fundamental biological process in tissue formation, embryogenesis and cancer development. Our research aims at understanding the physical and biomolecular mechanisms that underlies the formation of cell-cell junction in various conditions. One approach that we have taken is to use model cell systems to understand the dynamics and spatial organization of cadherin during the formation of the junction. We also develop physical approaches to test and measure the influence of mechanical tensions on the structure and dynamics of junction formation.  Another approach is to study specific junction such as bile canaliculi formed between primary hepatocytes . Using microfabricated patterns with 3D protein coating we control the dynamics and position of bile canaliculi formation. Performing specifically developed techniques we image in real time the formation of the secretion tube and study how its formation is affected by physical parameters.

Building on our experience with 3D protein coating in nano and microtextured environment, we are developing a platform for controlled cell culture, high resolution imaging and high through-put screening capabilities.

Virgile Viasnoff was trained as a soft matter physicist at Ecole Normale Superieure of Paris. After one Year at Johns Hopkins (USA) as a master thesis, he joined ESPCI (Paris) where he did his PhD on the microrheology of aging colloidal system. He then spent a 2 year post doc in Harvard where he worked on nanopore technologies to study RNA folding kinetics. In 2006 he was recruited at CNRS at ESPCI in Paris where he now works on single molecule biophysics.

In parallel to his activity in Paris, he joined MBI in 2010 as an Associate Prof where he started working on cell-cell junction mechanics and microfabrication of patterned substrate for cell culture. He is now heading a collaborative Research program between MBI and CNRS on cell adhesion.

See full list of publications.