Universiteit Leiden

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PhD defence

Forces and Symmetries in Cells and Tissues

  • J. Eckert
Tuesday 6 December 2022
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

The way organisms develop from the initial single-cellular state to a complex final assembly like the human body, and how the final body is maintained throughout life, is one of the greatest mysteries and it’s understanding one of the biggest scientific challenges. Lately, it came as a surprise that the initial assembly and the later maintenance of integrity is not only determined by intricate biochemical communication networks, but in part by physical forces that cells, their neighbors, and their environment apply in a bidirectional manner. The resulting collectivity of cell behavior determines the development of organisms, and are crucial to the health and disease state of the organism.

In this dissertation, we developed and utilized concepts from physics to quantitatively understand forces that develop between cells and their environment, and towards neighboring cells, and how the interplay between these forces regulates the arrangement, shape, and topology of tissue. The topics range from the development of novel experimental methods to the combination of experimental observations with theoretical descriptions. Our results contribute to a better understanding of cell and tissue integrity.


  • Prof. T. Schmidt

PhD dissertations

Approximately one week after the defence, PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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