Navid Bavi, MD, Physiology

I am a mechanobiologist specializing in bioengineering, biophysics, and structural biology. My fascination with the mechanics of tissues, cells, and proteins developed during my mechanical engineering background. In my PhD at the Martinac Lab, I focused on studying mechanically-gated ion channels in bacteria and mammals, exploring their response to forces from lipid bilayers (known as force-from-lipids principle) and modulation by amphipathic drugs.

During a short post-doctoral training at the Poole Lab, I delved into the interaction between mechanically-gated channels and the cytoskeleton cortex. I investigated how these channels adapt to mechanical changes at the cell-matrix interface, crucial for our perception of texture sensation. Subsequently, as a Chicago Fellow at the Perozo Lab, my primary research revolved around identifying genes regulating mechanosensitivity in various tissues. Additionally, I initiated and led a project on Prestin, a motor protein responsible for sound amplification in the inner ear. High-resolution cryo-EM structures of Prestin revealed complex molecular mechanisms underlying cochlear amplification.

To advance my research, I employ diverse techniques such as multi-scale modeling, cryo-electron microscopy, and patch clamp electrophysiology. Ultimately, I aim to unravel fundamental mechano-physiological phenomena from the molecular to in vivo level, with potential translational applications.