Dr Ioannis Xanthis
Project: Mechano-regulation of myofibril formation and cardiac remodelling
The lab previously identified a novel cardiomyocyte specific rigidity mechanism that is leading to different regimes of talin stretching (i.e. no stretching on embryoonic stiffness, cyclic stretching on healthy adult stiffness and continuous stretching on fibrotic stiffness, Pandey et al, Dev Cell, 2018). However, it is still unclear how this is signaled to the nucleus in order to alter cardiomyocyte maturity or function. My project aims at identifying and analyzing mechanisms of signaling downstream of talin, for which I use FRET/FLIM biosensors combined with micro- and nanopatterning strategies.
Through combining techniques of molecular biology with methods based on physics’ principles and statistics to analyse my data, I have come to appreciate the importance of different scientific fields in the area of bioengineering research and of operating in a multidisciplinary manner. My current position in the department of Bioengineering at Queen Mary University of London as postdoctoral researcher gives me the opportunity not only to carry out basic scientific research, investigating cardiomyocytes’ mechanobiology, but also to be involved in supervision of both undergraduate and postgraduate students. As a result, I have developed both as a researcher as well as a teacher.