The Bernheim Lab develops minimal model systems through in-vitro reconstitution to uncover the fundamental physical mechanisms that govern cytoskeleton self-organization and biological structures in the context of cell motility and tissue development. The lab combines microfabrication and micropatterning techniques together with advanced imaging. We develop experimental methods and tools for data quantification and combine them with physical modeling. Through these, we link the behavior of a given system to the properties of its molecular building blocks, and to the role of physical constraints and boundary conditions that shape the spatial organization that system. Our current research interests include shape transitions in active contractile materials as a motivation for understanding plants and animal tissues development, reconstitution of intracellular transport of organelles and viruses by developing rationally designed nano-carriers for drug delivery applications, and development of synthetic motile cells.