Pere Rocha-Cusachs 
Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia

Pere Roca-Cusachs (Ph.D. in biophysics, 2007, University of Barcelona) is an associate professor at the University of Barcelona, and group leader at the Institute for bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). Mechanical stimuli like forces or tissue rigidity drive major events in cancer, development, or wound healing, among other phenomena. Prof. Roca-Cusachs’ investigates how cells respond to such mechanical stimuli. He has discovered mechanisms explaining how cells sense the rigidity [1,2], ligand distribution [3], and viscosity of the ECM, and how this sensing depends on integrin subtypes or integrin binding partners. These findings have led to several awards, including the Young Investigator awards from EMBO, EBSA (European Biophysical Societies Association), and the Spanish Biophysical Society, and the City of Barcelona Award to the Life Sciences. He is also an EMBO member.
Relevant/interesting papers
Elosegui-Artola, A. et al. Nat. Cell Biol. 18, 540–548 (2016).
Elosegui-Artola, A. et al. Cell 171, 1397-1410 e14 (2017).
Oria, R. et al. Nature 552, 219–224 (2017).

 Group website