The Mechano-Genomics Group is a new group created with the recruitment of G.V.Shivashankar as a Full Professor at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich jointly with the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). The research laboratory of the group is located at PSI and has started its activities in January 2020.
The mechano-genomics group is focused on understanding the mesoscale functional links between cell mechanics, genome organization and gene expression during cellular ageing, rejuvenation and tissue homeostasis. Towards this, they use state-of-the art single-cell correlative imaging, micro-fabricated biointerfaces, functional genomics and machine learning methods. These studies, aimed at an in-depth understanding of the mechanical regulation of genome programs have major implications in regenerative medicine and early cancer diagnostics. On the computational side, the group collaborates closely with Caroline Uhler’s group at MIT.
Since January 2021 the mechano-genomics group is part of the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology (LNB) at PSI.
- Mechano-genomics of cellular ageing and rejuvenation
- Implanting reprogrammed and rejuvenated cells for skin tissue regeneration
- Role of tissue compression on chromatin organization and gene expression
- Nuclear mechano-pathology of tumor microenvironment
- Chromatin biomarkers for early cancer diagnostics
- In collaboration with the Center for Proton Therapy at PSI, we are beginning a clinical trial to analyze if chromatin biomarkers in liquid biopsies could help determine the efficacy and toxicity of proton radiation therapy in human patients for personalized treatment models.
- In collaboration with the Michel Steinmetz Group at PSI, we are exploring the role of GEFH1 dependent cross-talk between acto-myosin contractility and microtubule organization on nuclear mechanotransduction
- In collaboration with the Center for Radiopharmaceutical Sciences at PSI, we are analyzing the efficacy of radionuclide therapy on tumor cells in engineered 3D fibroblast-tumor co-culture models
- In collaboration with SLS (Swiss Light Source) groups, we are beginning to explore correlative light microscopy and X-ray tomography to analyze the role of macromolecular crowding on mesoscale functional chromatin organization regulated by cell mechanics.
- In collaboration with Ohad Medalia group at the University of Zurich, we plan to explore the role of cell mechanical constraints on chromatin organization using correlative light and cryo-electron tomography.
Senior Scientists associated with the MGG group:
Celestino Padeste is a Chemist specializing on polymer brushes and biointerfaces, and engaged in the development and fabrication of supports for protein crystallography. Currently, he is initiating collaborations with the Mechano-Genomics Group to develop single-cell 3D engineered wells combined with microfluidics for Nuclear Mechanobiology.
Philipp Berger is a Cell Biologist specializing on receptor mediated cell signaling mechanisms. Outside of his main research program, he is initiating collaborations with the Mechano-Genomics Group to develop multi-color labelling strategies for Nuclear Mechanotransduction.
Soichiro Tsujino is a Physicist currently working on the application of acoustic levitation for protein crystallography. Outside of his main research program, he is initiating collaborations with the Mechano-Genomics Group to develop ultrasound based methods to analyze Nuclear Mechanical Homeostasis.