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Non-muscle Myosin II orchestrates the inflammatory response by integrating adhesive and cytokine signaling and the mechanical properties of the inflammatory microenvironment

Final Report Summary - MYOII-INFLAM (Non-muscle Myosin II orchestrates the inflammatory response by integrating adhesive and cytokine signaling and the mechanical properties of the inflammatory microenvironment)

This project has addressed how cells interpret mechanical and chemical cues of their surroundings (“the microenvironment”) and adapt their own mechanical properties to optimize cellular processes essential for human homeostasis. In the context of this project, the fellow has discovered several new molecular mechanisms the control the activation and function of a major mechanically active molecule, non-muscle myosin II, in response to inflammatory and non-inflammatory signals in the context of immune and non-immune cells. Such knowledge identifies new pathways of outstanding importance that could be exploited for the control of cellular mechanics in a variety of contexts, e.g. cancer cell migration, inflammation and stem cell-based cellular regeneration.
This project, entirely conducted by the Fellow in an independent manner, has advanced the state of the art significantly in the field of cell biology, mechanobiology and cellular signaling. The Fellow has opened several additional lines of research that will not be described here, including mechanical development of tumor tolerance using cell-sized microchips, use of leukemia (Src) inhibitors to understand endothelial cell migration and use of microfluidic devices for 3D migration.
In terms of management, this project has been a complete success, constituting the foundation of the Fellow’s independent career. The jumpstart provided by this grant is illustrated by a significant number of primary and review articles of which the fellow is the last and corresponding author. This is testimony of his scientific growth, based on research program that is 100% original and completely independent. Such program has garnered him the i+3 distinction, which is a quality indicator of research in the Spanish Research system. As part of his growth within the EU system, the Fellow has obtained an Associate/Tenured (indefinite) Professor position in the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid starting March 2016.