Mechanical factors play an important role in many basic biological phenomena on different spatial-temporal scales: from tissues and single cells to sub-cellular structures. The ability of cells to appropriately sense, process and utilize mechanical energy and signals is essential for the normal function of the entire organism. A number of severe disease, such as Cancer and Progeria, is known to be related to altered mechanical properties of the cellular matter. To reveal the mechanisms behind the observed mechanobiological phenomena, we develop novel approaches to quantitative analysis of cellular mechanics using a 3D image- and model-based framework.
Within the scope of the ongoing multidisciplinary project, the relationship between genotype and mechanical phenotype of the cell will be systematically investigated by means of the high-throughput screening of mechanical properties of RNAi-knockdowns. Successful candidate will be given the opportunity to carry out a state-of-the-art research work on an emerging, high-impact area of science between molecular biology, bioinformatics and biophysics. Work will be carried out in the division of Prof. Roland Eils within BioQuant, the Center for “Quantitative Analysis of Molecular and Cellular Biosystems” at Heidelberg University.