Juan Carlos Lasheras

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 of Excellence



Juan Carlos Lasheras
University of California, San Diego  US

Juan C. Lasheras PhD. Stanford S. and Beverly P. Penner Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Bioengineering.
Director of the Center for Medical Devices and Instrumentation at the Institute of Engineering in Medicine. University of California San Diego. La Jolla, California. 92009-0411. USA

An aeronautical engineer by training, Professor Lasheras works at the intersection between medicine and engineering. His research interests include turbulent flows, two-phase flows and mechano-biology with special emphasis on the mechanics of cell migration and invasion. He conducts laboratory and mathematical modeling of flows relevant to a wide range of applications spanning from naval hydrodynamics to propulsion and vascular hemodynamics. He has studied the complex interaction between the mechanical stimuli and the pathophysiology of vessel remodeling responsible for the enlargement of cerebrovascular and abdominal aortic aneurysms. He currently works on several aspects of cell mechanics, including, cell mechano-transduction, cell migration and invasion. Lasheras received the F.N. Frenkiel Award for Fluid Dynamics from the American Physical Society (APS) in 1990, and the 2003 Breakthrough Innovation in Medical Sciences given by BIOCOM. He is member of the National Academy of Engineering of the USA, The National Academy of Inventors of the USA, and of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain (Real Académia de Ingeniería de España), and a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). He was a Guggenheim Fellow and a George Van Ness-Lothrop Fellow and served in 2010 as the Chairman of the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the APS. He was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa degrees from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain in January 2011 and from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain in October 2011. Lasheras holds 46 US patents in medical devices technology. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1982.




TITLE OF THE PROJECT at UC3M: Experimental and computational methodologies to measure the intercellular forces during tissue morphogenesis

In three-dimensional living tissues, cell-cell confinement, cell-cell traction forces, and the resulting intracellular tension play a key role in regulating not only cell proliferation (cell division), but more importantly, cell differentiation, cell migration, and apoptosis (programmed cell death). Yet, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the biochemical response of living cells to these mechanical forces are largely elusive. One of the reasons for this limited understanding has been the lack of suitable methods to measure accurately the intercellular forces in three-dimensional, developing living tissues with high spatial and temporal resolution. Thus, the main objective of this research project is to develop novel experimental and computational methodologies to measure the spatial and temporal evolution of the intercellular forces during three-dimensional tissue development. Our basic idea is to place small diameter, slender, deformable PDMS microrods in a developing tissue and to measure their shape deformations due to the forces exerted by the cells. This methodology will be tested and optimized using sophisticated 3D organotypic skin cultures containing keratinocytes producing GFP (Green Fluorescence Protein) and monitored by confocal microscopy. The project required a multidisciplinary approach and will be conducted by a team of senior investigators, with long-term experience in tissue engineering, skin biology and pathology, microfabrication, solid mechanics, mathematical modeling, and computational techniques. Our proposal is transformative from a scientific point of view and in the long term will lead to a better knowledge of the pathogenesis of diseases and open the door to improved diagnostics and treatments.

Stay period: MAR 14 - JUN 15