Interactions among cells can dictate biological processes that range from the development of an organism to the onset of disease. Understanding the mechanisms behind these processes could help scientists discover new treatments for diseases such as cancer as well as a range of neurodegenerative diseases. But doing so requires force measurement and control at the molecular level.
To meet this challenge, Dr. Isaac Li, Canada Research Chair in Single-Molecule Biophysics and Mechanobiology, is developing new tools and methods to investigate how molecular forces regulate cell function in the immune and nervous systems. He and his research team are using an interdisciplinary approach that combines DNA nanotechnology, single-molecule biophysics and mechanobiology. Beyond advancing fundamental molecular and cellular research, their findings could contribute to new treatments for a variety of diseases.