Verena Ruprecht is a Group Leader and ICREA Research Professor at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) Barcelona, Spain. She studies how dynamic processes at the single cell level control tissue development and homeostasis. The research of her group builds on a cross-disciplinary approach that combines quantitative methods from physics and biology and bridges in vivo and synthetic bottom-up in vitro systems. She received an HFSP Young Investigator grant (2019), funding from the European Innovation Council (2021), the European Research Council (2022) and was elected as an EMBO Young Investigator (2020).
Our research is motivated by the fundamental question how the complex multicellular architecture of our body is robustly established and maintained from a single fertilized cell. This requires to understand how dynamic processes at the single level are controlled by mechanical, physical and biochemical information in the tissue environment and how they instruct cellular behaviour and cell fate. We combine various methods from physics, biology and engineering to gather quantitative data and build mathematical models of cell and tissue dynamics.
We recently identified a mechano-transduction pathway in the nucleus that controls cell mechanics and migration (Venturini et al. Science 2020), offering new insight how cells adapt to shape changes. We also found that vertebrate embryos can trigger an innate immune response via epithelial phagocytosis, enabling cellular error correction in the earliest stages of development (Hoijman et al. Nature 2021).