Host cells interact with bacterial pathogens in a milieu dominated not only by chemical but also mechanical signals, including those imposed on them by the extracellular environment (e.g. shear flows) or neighboring cells. The Bastounis lab aims at revealing (i) how bacteria hijack host cellular forces to facilitate their spread, and (ii) which biomechanical strategies host cells use to obstruct bacterial dissemination. To do so, the lab uses a multidisciplinary research approach, including devices that closely mimic in vivo tissue (patho)physiology. Through their research Bastounis and her team envision discovering both, novel biomechanical virulence mechanisms and new aspects of host cell and tissue mechanobiology.
Effie Bastounis, PhD
University of Tübingen
Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine