Institute for the Physics of Living Systems


IPLS Seminar: Dr. Michael Mak (Yale University)

12 May 2022, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

Michael Mak Yale

Title: Emergent and Dynamic Biophysical States in Cells and Tissues

Event Information

Open to





2nd Floor Seminar Room (2.30), LMCB
MRC Building
Gower Street

Abstract: The interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) are important in maintaining tissue homeostasis, and their dysregulation can drive diseases such as cancer and fibrosis.  While there are many well-established patterns and mechanisms associated cell-ECM interactions, including stiffness and topography sensing, our understanding remains incomplete due to the complexity of ECM mechanics and cell biophysics.  Notably, the ECM exhibits non-elastic mechanical properties, resulting from the unbinding or reorganization of molecular bonds under applied forces, and cells are highly dynamic and mechanosensitive actuators.  This combination results in complex interactions that extend beyond elastic deformations and matrix deposition and degradation.  In this talk, we will discuss the mechanisms and consequences of these interactions in the spatiotemporal evolution of tissue microenvironments.

Host: Emad Moeendarbary

About the Speaker

Dr. Michael Mak

Assistant Professor at Yale University

My lab aims to uncover the fundamental mechanics and biophysics underlying emergent mechanobiological phenomena.  To achieve this, my lab develops complementary experimental and computational approaches that can probe into the multiscale mechanobiology of cell and cytoskeletal dynamics, cell-matrix interactions, and collective cell behaviors in 3D microenvironments.  We develop in vitro and in silico models, devices, and biomaterials.  We further perform high resolution imaging experiments and develop automated image analysis tools for quantitative analyses of cell behaviors across multiple scales.  We take an integrative, systems level approach investigating both biochemical and biomechanical signaling and feedback that regulate the spatial and temporal evolution of cell, tissue, and microenvironmental states. 

More about Dr. Michael Mak