Tata Institute of Fundamental Research


Maithreyi Narasimha

Associate Professor

Intelligent and adaptive: how do cells in tissues (re)organize themselves?

Cell Biology

Cells in tissues exhibit stochastic and collective behaviors and seem capable of "self-organization". What drives distinct cell behaviours? How do cells sense their neighborhood and adapt to perturbations (like cell division, death, wounds) they encounter? What rules do they follow when doing so? Cells communicate using a combination of chemical and physical cues and "cell junctions" containing adhesion molecules can transduce both. How do contact or chemicals mediate changes in cell behavior? Do they work alone or together? We study design principles of cellular reorganization accompanying Drosophila morphogenesis and mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell differentiation using a combination of genetics, live confocal microscopy, biophysical perturbations, computational and theoretical approaches facilitated by quantitative analysis and collaborations with theoretical and experimental physicists.

Selected Publications

Muliyil S, Narasimha M (2014) Mitochondrial ROS Regulates Cytoskeletal and Mitochondrial Remodeling to Tune Cell and Tissue Dynamics in a Model for Wound Healing. Developmental Cell 28: 239

Schäfer G*, Narasimha M*, Vogelsang E, Leptin M (2014) Cadherin switching during the formation and differentiation of the Drosophila mesoderm: implications for epithelial to mesenchymal transitions. Journal of Cell Science doi:10.1242/jcs.139485 (* equal contributions)

Saravanan S, Meghana C, Narasimha M (2013) Local, cell non-autonomous feedback regulation of myosin dynamics patterns transitions in cell behaviour; a role for tension and geometry? Molecular Biology of the Cell 24: 2350

Meghana C, Hameed FM, Ramdas N, Rao M, Shivashankar GV, Narasimha M (2011) Integrin adhesion drives the emergent polarization of active stresses to pattern the dynamics of delamination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108: 9107

Muliyil S, Krishnakumar P, Narasimha M (2011) Spatial, temporal and molecular hierarchies in the link between death, delamination and dorsal closure. Development 138: 3043

Narasimha M, Uv A, Krejci A, Brown NH, Bray SJ (2008) Grainy head promotes expression of septate junction proteins and influences epithelial morphogenesis. Journal of Cell Science 121: 747

Seher TC, Narasimha M, Vogelsang E, Leptin M (2007) Analysis and reconstitution of the genetic cascade controlling early mesoderm morphogenesis in the Drosophila embryo. Mechanisms of Development 124: 167

Narasimha M, Brown NH (2006) Confocal microscopy of Drosophila embryos. In "Cell biology: a laboratory handbook", Third Edition. Julio De Celis, Editor, Academic Press. 3: 77

Narasimha M, Brown NH (2004) Novel functions for integrins in epithelial morphogenesis. Current Biology 14: 381

Torgler C, Narasimha M, Knox AL, Vernon M, Zervas C, Brown NH (2004) Drosophila tensin stabilizes integrin contacts in Drosophila. Developmental Cell 6: 357


  • Room B-224
  • Tel: 91 22 2278 2248
  • maithreyi @ tifr.res.in
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