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Liliana Barbieri

PhD student

I am a physicist by training with strong interest in understanding the physical principles of cell-biological systems. Currently, I am working on the characterisation of the reorganisation dynamics of the cortical actin cytoskeleton during T-cell activation. Cortical actin dynamics give rise to active force production, which I quantify by simultaneous read-out of the mechanical forces and the underlying turnover dynamics of actin and key proteins involved in the activation process such as the T-cell receptor. Understanding the role of the actin cytoskeleton is now becoming a contentious question in immunology but progress has previously been limited, mainly due to the use of conventional-resolution microscopy, which inevitably misses essential details due to limited resolution. To overcome these limitations, I have been working on establishing new super-resolution optical techniques with traction force microscopy using the enhanced TIRF-SIM microscope in 3D and 2D, and new automated high-throughput platforms for robust read-out of primary T-cells activation, combining advanced optical microscopy techniques and image analysis and machine learning based software.

Recent publications

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