Michael received his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago (USA) where he studied how membrane-dependent mechanisms (e.g., membrane composition, membrane fluidity/rigidity, bilayer hydrophobic thickness, and lipid spontaneous curvature) alters antimicrobial peptide membrane selectivity and disruption. In the Zurzolo group, Michael aims to develop novel micropatterned surfaces and microfluidic chips, through collaboration with biophysicists at Institut Curie, to directly guide tunneling nanotube (TNT) formation between cell-cell and cell-giant vesicle (GUV) pairs for high-throughput, in vitro studies of TNTs. He hopes to decipher how specific protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions mediate TNT structure, formation, mechanical properties and fusion of the nanotube with a target membrane using live-cell imaging, optical tweezer force measurements, and FRET-based membrane fusion assays. When not in the lab, Michael enjoys exploring Paris and hiking through the nearby forests with his giant Newfoundland.
Unraveling the structure/function of TNTs in vitro and in vivo.
Unraveling the structure/function of TNTs in vitro and in vivo. While TNTs may be involved in cell-to-cell communication in many physiological processes as well as diseases, their physiological relevance is unclear as their existence […]