Manuel has a training at the interface between Physics and Biology and is currently a permanent researcher at CEA and the head of the Cytomorpholab.
We are interested in the mechanisms regulating cell architecture and polarity. We try to understand how cell cytoskeleton determines cell shape and intra-cellular organelle positioning. Our working hypothesis is that reproducible spatial organizations of cytoskeleton networks result from the interplay between intrinsic self-organization properties and the conditions imposed by spatial boundaries. Along these boundaries, cytoskeleton filaments are anchored, repulsed, aligned, or reoriented. Such local effects can propagate alterations throughout the network and guide cytoskeleton assembly in cells and tissues. Our aim is to unravel the physical processes underlying cytoskeleton self-organization processes and to formulate the rules directing their spatial organization. We are more specifically focusing on the mechanisms regulating centrosome positioning and microtubule network geometry in response to symmetry of the actin network.
To investigate experimentally these questions, we use microfabrication methods, such as surface micropatterning and microfluidic devices, to manipulate the spatial boundaries guiding cell shape and cytoskeleton growth. We apply these methods on both reconstituted cytoskeleton networks in vitro, to reveal the basic, elementaryl rules directing actin and microtubule networks assembly, and on mammalian cells in culture to see how the combination of those rules leads to global cell polarization.
At CRI, he mentors AIV M2 students and leads the Zoom In - Zoom Out course in the second semester.