Mechanobiology of cell fate in 3D, multicellular environments

KU Leuven
August 22 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Mechanobiology and Tissue Engineering research group is looking for a highly motivated, interdisciplinary researcher to study the role of mechanical forces for cell fate and morphogenesis in 3D, multicellular environments. You will combine computational and experimental methods to quantify cellular forces into complex 3D, multicellular environments and relate them to cell fate decisions and morphogenesis. The Mechanobiology and Tissue Engineering research group of the Biomechanics section is situated at the department of Mechanical Engineering at KU Leuven, Belgium. The group is headed by Hans Van Oosterwyck and focuses on the role of cell-matrix mechanical interactions for angiogenesis. The group is very interdisciplinary and develops computational and experimental tools to quantify cellular forces in order to unravel their role for angiogenesis. More information can be found on

The research fits within the scope of a large,multidisciplinary research project at KU Leuven that aims at the development of3D multicellular culture systems for real time insights in physical andchemical signals underlying stem cell morphogenesis and lineage fate. It bringstogether research groups from Biomedical Sciences and Science, Engineering& Technology, in particular the Leuven Stem Cell Institute, the Departmentof Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Chemistry. Expertise rangesfrom cell and molecular biology, stem cell technology, to cell and matrixmechanics, biomaterials development and screening, as well as advanced optical andfluorescence microscopy. Different tissue and organ systems are targeted,including liver, heart, muscle and blood vessels.

The research position aims at developing andimplementing novel computational and experimental methods to quantify cellular forcesinto complex, 3D multicellular culture systems that cover the differentapplications of the consortium. Starting point will be traction force microscopyprocedures and algorithms that have already been implemented by the Mechanobiologyand Tissue Engineering research group. The candidate is expected to have astrong background in theoretical and computational mechanics (nonlinearcontinuum mechanics, finite element method), and at the same time willing to combinethis with experimental work, involving cell culturing, optical microscopy andthe experimental characterization of cell and matrix mechanics.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess