Physical Principles in Biological Systems

Edouard Hannezo is interested in understanding how cells “know” how to make the right decisions at the right time and at the right place during development and normal tissue homeostasis, as well as how these decisions are dysregulated during cancer initiation. Coming from a theoretical physics background, he uses methods ranging from mechanics and active hydrodynamics to population dynamics and statistical physics, both to develop new generic biophysical frameworks, as well as in the context of collaborations with developmental and stem cell biologists.

He is particularly interested in design principles and processes of self-organisation in biology, at various scales. Examples of problems he is working on, at three different scales, include: 1/ how do cytoskeletal elements, which generate forces within cells, self-organise to produce complex spatio-temporal patterns, 2/ how do cells concomitantly acquire identities and shape a tissue during development, and 3/ how does complex tissue architecture derive from simple self-organising principles, using branching morphogenesis as a prototypical example, and the framework of branching and annihilating random walks.

Edouard Hannezo
Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)
Am Campus 1
A – 3400 Klosterneuburg

CV and Publication List

Hannezo Group Website

Louis Alesch

Phone: +43 (0)2243 9000-1032

Open Positions

We are looking for motivated PhD students and postdocs, with a strong theoretical background, but also the curiosity and motivation to answer biological questions. Postdoc candidates should send their application including CV, and statement of motivation and research interests to PhD student candidates should apply directly at the IST Austria Graduate School.

Selected Publications

  • E. Hannezo*, C. Scheele, ..., H. Van Rheenen and B. Simons. A unifying theory of branching morphogenesis. Cell, in press
  • D. Pinheiro, E. Hannezo*, S. Herstzerg*, ..., and Y. BellaicheTransmission of cytokinesis forces via E-Cadherin dilution and actomyosin flows. Nature, 545 (7652), 103-107 (2017)
  • C. Scheele*, E. Hannezo*, ..., B. Simons and J. Van Rheenen. Identity and dynamics of mammary stem cells during branching morphogenesis. Nature, 542 (7641), 313-317 (2017)
  • A. Sanchez-Danes*, E. Hannezo*, ... , B. Simons and C. Blanpain. Defining the clonal dynamic leading to basal cell carcinoma initiation. Nature, 536(7616), 298-303, (2016)
  • E. Hannezo, J-F Joanny and J. Prost. Theory of epithelial sheet morphology in three dimensions. PNAS 111 (1), 27-32 (2013)

Since 2017 Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2014-2017 Junior Research Fellow (Trinity College) and Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow (Wellcome Trust), Gordon Institute and Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, UK
2010-2014 PhD, Institut Curie and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
Selected Distinctions
2015 Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust
2014 Young Researcher Prize from the Bettencourt-Schuller Foundation
2014 Junior Research Fellowship from Trinity College, Cambridge
2010 PhD grant from the French Ministry of Research

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