Back Andreu Pascuet


Department of Information and Communication Technologies
Biomechanics & Mechanobiology, SIMBIOsys
PhD Student

Andreu Pascuet-Fontanet holds a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona and specialised in the computational field by obtaining a master's degree in Computational Biomedical Engineering from the same university. After attending the VPH Summer School workshop "Multiscale systems biology modelling to simulate the cartilage homeostasis in osteoarthritis" in 2020, Andreu's interest in cartilage mechano-transduction and osteoarthritis phenotyping grew. As a result, he focused his bachelor's and master's theses on the computational modelling of collective chondrocyte behaviour in osteoarthritis, supervised by Prof. Jérôme Noailly and Dr. Maria Segarra-Queralt. Specifically, he used agent-based modelling to simulate patient-specific biochemical microenvironments and their interactions with chondrocytes, whose behaviour was conditioned by regulatory networks. He was also involved in clinical data acquisition for his projects, and in 2021 he completed an internship at the Cell Research on Inflammation and Cartilage Unit at the Hospital del Mar Research Institute.

With more room for improvement, Andreu Pascuet-Fontanet decided to continue working on multiscale modelling of knee cartilage. In 2022, he started his PhD in Computational Biology and Biomedical Systems at UPF in the Biomechanics and Mechanobiology (SYMBIOsys) group, under the supervision of Prof. Jérôme Noailly (from UPF) and Prof. Corey Neu (from the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder)), supported by a competitive grant from the Spanish Minestry (PRE2022-102101). Andreu is currently working on integrating regulatory network-based models into finite element model simulations to bridge the knowledge gap between cell-level biochemical regulation and tissue-level biomechanics in knee cartilage. He is also planning a research stay in the Soft Tissue Bioengineering Lab at CU Boulder, supported by the Europe-Colorado Mobility Programme. Once there, he expects to obtain experimental data on chondrocyte mechanotransduction in healthy and osteoarthritic environments to test and validate his computational models.

In addition, Andreu's background also accounts for his good performance in the field of synthetic biology. In 2020, he participated in the iGEM competition with the UPF_Barcelona team. There, they presented HORMONIC, a project to deliver optimal doses of thyroid hormones to hypothyroid patients using a bioengineered hormone sensor, control theory and electronics. Their participation culminated in outstanding results, with a gold medal, awards for best wiki and best new basic part, and nominations for best therapeutics, best presentation and best poster.