Finalist Thesis Prize SFBD 2020: Dr. Alicia Lardennois
→ Prize of 300 €
In 2020, the SFBD selected Dr. Alicia Lardennois as a co-finalist for the thesis prize for her thesis entitled: “Contribution of actin cytoskeleton to C. elegans embryonic elongation”. This work was published in the journal Nature in 2019.
Alicia Lardennois did her thesis under the supervision of Dr. Michel Labouesse at the Institut de Biologie Paris Seine in Paris.
The work of the winner :
Alicia Lardennois’ thesis work focused on the characterization of the mechanical forces acting during embryonic elongation of the nematode C. elegans. This organism elongates without rearrangement or cell division, solely through changes in the shape of epidermal cells. This elongation depends on muscle activity. The results of Alicia Lardennois’ thesis work have led to the identification of a new cellular network that acts by progressively remodelling the actin cytoskeleton and stabilising cell shapes in a ratchet-like process, which provides the plasticity necessary for the elongation of the embryo in response to muscle contractions. These results were obtained using a multidisciplinary approach ranging from the molecular genetics of C. elegans to super-resolution imaging and the design of a mesoscopic model of the embryo.