We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to join the Spatiotemporal organization of the nucleus program at IFOM, Milan, Italy.
Our group studies how cells sense and react to mechano-chemical stimuli coming from the surrounding micro-environment. Particularly, we are interested to investigate how those stimuli impact on the cell nucleus.
Cell and nuclear volumes are related and they constantly grow during the cell cycle. Since alterations of nuclear shape and size are well recognized hallmarks of cancer, we are interested in develop a method to measure the nuclear volume. Such method would allow us to study the nucleus-to-cell volume ratio in homeostasis, investigating not only its variation during the cell cycle but also how it is perturbed upon tumor transformation. Different techniques have been proposed to quantify the cell volume, with a variety of accuracy and sensitivity. However, none of them is able to measure simultaneously cell and nuclear volumes of individual cells in real-time.
While the nuclei of most cells tend to be either round or oval, various diseases are associated with alterations in the shape of the cell nucleus. An abnormal nuclear shape and size is associated with cancer, in fact, it is one of the key diagnostic tools used in identifying malignant cells. Moreover, mutations in genes encoding lamins, one of the major structural components of the nucleoskeleton, are leading to a variety of disorders, including muscular dystrophy, dilated cardiomyopathy and progeria, and show cells with characteristic perturbation of the nuclear shape. Yet, the basic mechanisms linking cell and nuclear shape, and which is the intrinsic shape of the nucleus, are still unclear.
A background in microfabrication and/or microfluidics would be appreciated and considered a strong advantage.