Tanmay Lele » Faculty

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Tanmay Lele

Charles A. Stokes Professor
Work Office: CHE 339 Lab: Nuclear Science Building Room 245 1006 Center Drive Gainesville FL 32611 Work Phone: (352) 392-0317 Website: Lele Lab

Research Summary

Our research is in the area of Mechanobiology, with focused efforts in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which cell generated mechanical forces and associated signaling pathways enable cell and tissue functions. We have contributed to the development and application of new methods for sub-cellular mechanical perturbations including laser ablation of cytoskeletal structures and direct nuclear force probes. A distinctive feature of our work is that experimental findings are either motivated by or interpreted with mathematical modeling/computational predictions. Using these platforms, we have proposed new explanations for why microtubules adopt certain conformations during cell motility, how tension is established in dynamic stress fibers which enables cell adhesion and migration, how cells find their geometric center, and how the cell shapes and positions the nucleus for establishing cell polarity. In addition, we have established the concept that nuclear-cytoskeletal linkages are functionally involved in tissue development and cell mechanotransduction. Current research projects in the laboratory include quantitative measurements of nuclear forces, the effect of mechanical stresses on nuclear functions and gene expression, cellular adaptation to mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix, and the mechanics of tissue development. A key interest is in the field of Cancer Mechanobiology, with a focus on the role of the nucleus in the development of aberrant tissue structure and function.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Vascular Biology, Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital, Boston MA, 2002-2006
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, 2002
B.Chem. Eng., UDCT, Mumbai, India, 1998

Awards & Distinctions

  • UF Research Foundation Professorship, 2019
  • Charles A. Stokes Professorship, 2018-
  • College of Engineering Doctoral Mentoring Award, 2018
  • UF Term Professorship, 2017-
  • UF Provost’s Excellence Award for Assistant Professors, 2012
  • Technology Innovator Recipient, UF Office of Technology Licensing, 2011
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2010
  • National Scientist Development Grant (American Heart Association), 2007

selected Publications

  • Zhang, Q., Narayanan, V., Mui, K.L., O’Bryan, C.S., Anderson, R.H., Birendra, K.C., Davis, J.I., Denis, K.B., Antoku, S., Roux, K.J., Dickinson, R.B., Angelini, T.E., Gundersen, G.G, Conway, D.E., Lele,T.P., (2019), Mechanical stabilization of the glandular acinus by linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton complex, Current Biology. 2019 Sep 9;29(17):2826-2839
  • Agrawal, A., Lele, T.P., (2019) Mechanics of the nuclear membranes, Journal of Cell Science., 2019 Jul 15;132(14).
  • Lele, T.P., Dickinson, R.B., and Gundersen, G.G., Mechanical principles of nuclear shaping and positioning, Journal of Cell Biology, 2019, 217(10):3330-3342
  • Li, Y., Lovett, D., Zhang, Q., Neelam, S., Kuchibhotla, R.A., Zhu, R., Gundersen, G.G., Lele, T.P., and Dickinson, R.B.. Moving cell boundary drives nuclear flattening during cell spreading, Biophysical Journal, 2015, 109 (4), 670-686
  • Neelam, S., Chancellor, T.J., Li, Y., Nickerson, J., Roux, K., Dickinson, R.B., and Lele, T.P.  A direct force probe reveals the mechanics of nuclear homeostasis in the mammalian cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015, vol 112, no.18, 5720-5725.