Over the few research projects I had, the best couple of words I could use to describe my activities are probably “computational material scientist”. I consistently use a computational modelling approach, based on physics and mechanics of materials at different scales, to understand how certain properties or mechanisms emerge. It led me to study a wide spectrum of systems, from stability of concrete structures under seismic loading, to migration of mesenchymal stem cells, and currently, failure of polymer nanocomposites.
Building on the experience of these different projects, I want to pursue my research in the field of biophysics applied to cell mechanobiology. I have grown interest in understanding the behaviour of mesenchymal stem cells, which I picture as nothing else but a complex combination of rather simple physical mechanisms, aimed at optimising a few biological patterns.
However, these simple physical mechanisms, are staged at different level of the cell architecture. In order to understand the way they combine to produce the complex cellular behaviour that biologists observe, ideally they would have to be embedded simultaneously in a computational model.
Using my experience of different modelling techniques at scale ranging from the nanoscale where atoms and molecules lie, to the human scale, where tissues and even organ can be depicted, as well as my experience with techniques designed to combine all of these different methods, I hope to provide physical insight in the way mechanobiological complexity assembles and emerge.