Developing micro- & nano-fabrication tools to measure chemical & mechanical cellular environments.

ladoux lab group

Benoit Ladoux

Principal Investigator, Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore (MBI)
Professor, Institut Jacques Monod, Université Paris Diderot & CNRS

email: or
web: (NUS) or (IJM, Paris)

Epithelial cell migration; Microfabrication for cell mechanics; Influence of the mechanical environments on cell functions; Mechanotransduction

Our research aims at understanding how living organisms interact with their environment. In particular, we are studying the cooperation between adhesion, biomechanical and biochemical signaling for the adaptation of living organisms to changes in their environment. To probe these questions, our laboratory has developed a repertoire of micro- and nano-fabrication tools to control and measure the chemical and mechanical environment of cells. Our research programme thus focuses on the integration of novel microfabricated devices for the quantitative imaging of living organisms.

MBI Team

nguyenEmmanuelle Nguyen

Research Associate


Emmanuelle graduated in Biology and Pharmacology of Aging at the University Marne-La Vallée in Paris (France) in 1995 . Thereafter, she worked in the service of Neurodegenerative diseases at Rhone-Poulenc RORER (PARIS, France) where she studied cerebral ischemia and trauma in animal models. In 1997, Emmanuelle joined the  Oncology service of  SANOFI-AVENTIS (Paris, France) doing research in telomerase and cell senescence. In 2008, she got expertise on Huntington disease and RNA interference at the Mediterrean Institute of Neurobiology (Inmed), INSERM (Marseille, France). In 2011, Emmanuelle moved to Singapore and worked at the Regenerative Nanomedicine service (Bioengineering NUS, Singapore)  with Prof. Evelyn Yim to study the migration and differentiation of neuronal precursors. In June 2012, Emmanuelle joined Prof. Benoit Ladoux’s lab as a Research associate.

kocgozluLeyla Kocgozlu (MBI)

Post Doc


Leyla is from Strasbourg, France, and she graduated with a Masters in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Strasbourg. In 2007, She entered the PhD program in the team Nanoassemblies and Biomimetic Materials of Dr Philippe Lavalle, at the University of Strasbourg. Leyla worked on her thesis with Dr Dominique Vautier, where the main research focus was to answer how substrate elasticity influences nuclear structure and function in an epithelial cell model with nanostructured films of tunable stiffness. Leyla showed that actin stress fibres and focal adhesions (FAs) are absent for elasticities between 0 and 50 kPa. At these elasticities, the DNA replication is also inhibited. FA dynamics and cell cycle are linked. The elasticity of 50 kPa allows histone H3 hyperacetylation, which permits active transcription independently of the actin cytoskeleton. These results reveal a selective and uncoupled contribution from substrate elasticity to the regulation of replication and transcription activities in an epithelial cell model. Leyla is also studying how cells respond to matrix elasticity during mitosis. Soft substrates (Eap < 50 kPa) led to abnormal morphology in chromosome segregation. Frequency of these damages increased with decreasing substrate stiffness and was correlated with a pro-apoptotic phenotype. Mitotic spindle was not observed on soft substrates where formation of chromatin damages is due to low β1-integrin engagement and decrease of Rac1 activities.

Her long-standing interest in how living cells are able to sense their environment and adequately respond in terms of shape, proliferation, molecular regulation brought her to the lab of Prof. Benoit Ladoux, where she will be working in polarization and cellular apoptotic responses to fluctuating mechanical environments.

guettaCharlotte Guetta

PhD Student


Charlotte received her master degree from Université Paris Sud XI (France) in Biophysics (Interface between Biology and Physics) in 2011. At that time point, she decided to come to Singapore at the MBI for her Ph.D since she has a background in Physics but for years, she has been interested in biology. After 3 months of laboratory rotations, Charlotte joined Benoit Ladoux’s group.

Currently, she is working on a multi-disciplinary project which combines physics, biology and bioengineering in collaboration with Dr. Nils Gauthier and researchers from NTU. The idea is to study the mechanosensing properties of cell migration in a three-dimensional environment.

guptaMukund Gupta (MBI, Co-supervised with CT Lim)

PhD Student


Mukund is a graduate student in Prof. Benoit Ladoux's lab at Mechanobiology Institute (MBI), Singapore. He is interested in understanding the role of mechanical cues from environment in regulating the behavior of cells, and applying this knowledge to biology of cancer and stem cells. He is currently studying the role of forces in cell polarization and migration from an experimental and as well as theoretical point of view.

Before coming to MBI, Mukund studied Civil Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, where he obtained his bachelor's degree.

perumalTianchi Chen

PhD Student


Tianchi is a graduate student in Professor Ladoux's lab. With a background in cell and molecular biology, he is attracted to MBI by its diverse and stimulating environment as well as its unique perspective of mechanobiology. he is excited about integrating biophysical approaches to the study of the internal mechanism of cells by revealing their mechanical aspects of migration, adhesion, cytoskeletal organization and regulation.

Presently Tianchi is studying collective cell migration in the context of epithelial wound closure. By using micro-fabricated PDMS pillars to create gaps of various shapes in the epithelium, he is able to investigate the role played by geometrical constraints on the migration of epithelial cells as well as their internal signaling events.

perumalSaw Thuan Beng

PhD student  (Prof Benoit ladoux and Prof CT Lim's lab)


Thuan Beng is from Penang, Malaysia and has a physics and engineering background. He did his undergraduate and Masters jointly at NUS, Singapore and Ecole Polytechnique, France. Initially exposed to quantum mechanics related research (NUS), he was lured into research in biology after spending wonderful time at Abdul Barakat's atherosclerosis lab (Polytechnique). Further, he had a taste of biophysics research at the molecular scale with Benoit Ladoux and Lim Chwee Teck's lab. There, he studied mechanics of Alpha-Catenin to understand cell-cell adhesion using AFM and Magnetic Tweezers. Now, he has settled on a cell-tissue-scale project for PhD in the same group. He will study the mechanical factors governing tissue phenomena, including cell extrusion in tissue homeostasis, cell migration, etc. Another aim is also to fabricate precise force exerting apparatuses to manipulate cells in tissue.

perumalShreyansh Jain 

PhD student  (Prof Benoit ladoux and Prof CT Lim's lab)


Shreyansh as completed his Bachelors in Mechanical engineering from CUSAT (Cochin University of Science and Technology),India.Before joining Mechanobiology Institute he was working in R&D sector of Mahindra,India where he was involved in development of suspension,steering & pneumatic actuation systems. With his background in Mechanical engineering & his desire to understand the role of microenvironment and the mechanical forces in biological processes, he is now pursuing PhD at MBI-NUS.Currently he is studying how the different geometrical shapes can affect the collective cell migration and the cell mixing dynamics of epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes. He is using different geometries for ECM patterning and microfluidic techniques to study the migration behavior. He is also interested in studying the cell migrations during early cancer metastatic events like intravasation. His hobbies include hiking, playing football and cooking.

Past Group Members

PhD Students

Alexandre Saez , 2003-2006, Post-Doc Columbia University
Marion Ghibaudo, 2005-2008 L’Oreal
Jimmy Le Digabel, 2008-2012
Man Chun Leong, 2009-2013

Post Docs

Olivia du Roure, 2002-2005
Léa Trichet, 2007-2009
Alexandr Rabodzey, 2006-2007
Alain Xayaphoummine, 2005-2007
Claire Ribrault, 2010-2011
Vedula Sri Ram Krishna , 2010-2013 
Maruxa Estevez 2011-2012
Ester Anon, 2009-2012
Harmeet Singh, till 2014
Pierre Olivier Strale, till 2014
Wang Xi, till 2014
Andrea Ravasio, till 2014

Research assistants

Vamanie Perumal, 2011-2013
Praseetha R  Chandramohanadas, 2011-2012
Sree Vaishnavi, till 2014