logo summer school



Building tissues and organs require cells to perform dynamic processes involving changes in their mechanical properties. Recent advances in the study of cellular processes regulating growth development, adhesion, and migration, show a significant transition towards interdisciplinary research at the interface of cell biology, physics and engineering. The aim of the school ’’Mechanobiology of polarized cells’’ is to focus on how intrinsic physical properties of cells and environment govern cellular behaviour. In particular, the series of lectures will provide an extraordinary number of new insights into the specific relation between environmental sensing and signal transduction, membrane tension and cellular properties/activities like cell volume, endocytosis or signalling as well as force generation and tissue formation. A few talks will decipher more technical aspects presenting recent advances in methods to measure cell stiffness and single-molecule mechanics.


Registration and payment deadline

2 March 2018


Abstract submission deadline

2 March 2018




Christophe Lamaze

Insitut Curie, Paris, France

David Strutt

University of Sheffield, UK

Elizabeth Smythe

University of Sheffield, UK

Ewa Paluch


Guillaume Salbreux

The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK

Henriëtte Lanz

MIMETAS, The Netherlands

Jochen Guck

BIOTEC, Dresden, Germany

Jorge Alegre-Cebollada

CNIC, Madrid, Spain

Kai Erdmann

University of Sheffield, UK

Kevin Chalut

University of Cambridge, UK

Ludger Johannes

Institut Curie, Paris, France

Maria Montoya Sánchez

CNIC, Madrid, Spain

Miguel Ángel del Pozo Barriuso

CNIC, Madrid, Spain

Paul Evans

University of Sheffield, UK

Pere Roca-Cusachs Soulere

IBEC, Barcelona, Spain

Pietro Cicuta

University of Cambridge, UK

Stephan Grill

BIOTEC, Dresden, Germany

Torsten Müller

JPK Instruments, Berlin, Germany

Ulrich Schwarz

University of Heidelberg, Germany



*Please note that program is subject to change.

Day 1 - 8 April 2018


17:00          ITN-BIOPOL meeting (restricted for the network members only)

19:30          DINNER

Day 2 - 9 April 2018

7:45            BREAKFAST

9:00            KAI ERDMANN: Life sciences at the intersection of cell biology and physics

10:00          PERE ROCA-CUSACHS: Role and mechanism of rigidity sensing

11:00          COFFEE BREAK

11:30          ULRICH SCHWARZ: The physics of stress fibers

12:30          LUNCH

14:00          MIGUEL ÁNGEL DEL POZO: Cell mechanoadaption: caveolae mechano-biology and tissue biomechanics

15:00          KEVIN CHALUT: Mechanics and transitions in cell fate choice

16:00          COFFEE BREAK

16:30          JOCHEN GUCK: Methods to measure cell stiffness - past, present and future

17:30          HENRIËTTE LANZ: High throughput microfluidic tissue models 

19:30          DINNER

Day 3 - 10 April 2018

7:45            BREAKFAST

9:00            PAUL EVANS: Endothelial mechanobiology - going with the flow     

10:00          JORGE ALEGRE-CEBOLLADA: Latest advances in protein mechanics by single-molecule methods

11:00          COFFEE BREAK

11:30          PIETRO CICUTA: Mechanical coupling in tissues with motile cilia: fluid dynamics and physics

12:30          LUNCH

14:00          ITN-BIOPOL FELLOWS presentations (ESR1 – ESR4)

15:00          ITN-BIOPOL FELLOWS presentations (ESR5 – ESR8)

16:00          COFFEE BREAK

16:30          POSTER SESSION I

18:00          Small group discussion rounds on mechanobiology topics

19:30          DINNER

Day 4 - 11 April 2018

7:45            BREAKFAST

9:00            CHRISTOPHE LAMAZE: Caveolae and nanodomains: Role in signalling and cancer mechanotransduction

10:00          ELIZABETH SMYTHE: How do endocytic nano domains regulate intracellular trafficking?

11:00          COFFEE BREAK

11:30          LUDGER JOHANNES: Building endocytic pits with grease and sugar-the GL-lectin hypothesis

12:30          LUNCH

14:00          EXCURSION/FREE TIME

19:30          DINNER

Day 5 - 12 April 2018

7:45            BREAKFAST

9:00            EWA PALUCH: Cell morphogenesis across scales: from molecular processes to cell-scale mechanics

10:00          MARIA MONTOYA SÁNCHEZ: Engineering mechanically relevant cell-based assays for drug screening

11:00          COFFEE BREAK

11:30          TORSTEN MÜLLER: Atomic force microscopy and optical tweezers

12:30          LUNCH

14:00          ITN-BIOPOL FELLOWS presentations (ESR9 – ESR12)

15:00          ITN-BIOPOL FELLOWS presentations (ESR13 – ESR16)

16:00          COFFEE BREAK

16:30          POSTER SESSION II

18:00          Small group discussion rounds on mechanobiology topics

19:30          DINNER

Day 6 - 13 April 2018

7:45            BREAKFAST

9:00            STEPHAN GRILL: Mechanochemical Pattern Formation

10:00          DAVID STRUTT: Planar polarisation as a model to understand tissue organisation from nm to mm scale

11:00          COFFEE BREAK

11:30          GUILLAUME SALBREUX: *to be announced

12:30          LUNCH




Registration and payment deadline

2 MARCH 2018

Register and pay online by credit/debit card via The University of Sheffield’s Online Store. You will receive an email confirmation of your payment (once the credit/debit card payment has been successfully processed).


fee summer school

 Registration includes:

  • full access to course materials
  • accommodation (single room with own bathroom/toilet: towels, shampoo, soap, shower gel and hair-dryer are provided)
  • three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Special requirements will need to be arranged separately (email us).

Abstract submission deadline:

2 MARCH 2018

Every applicant submit an abstract. There is a limit of 40 posters to be presented during two poster sessions (20 posters/session). In case the limit of attendees will be exceeded, abstracts will be selected based on relevance and scientific excellence.

Abstracts are limited to 200-250 words (excluding title and author information). We recommend posters A0 size in portait orientation.




General enquires:

Dr Agnieszka Skowronek


tel.: +44 (0)114 222 2364

Summer school organizers:

Dr Kai Erdmann


tel.: +44 (0)114 222 4698

Dr Agnieszka Skowronek


tel.: +44 (0)114 222 2364


Les Houches

Les Houches is a village located in Chamonix valley, in the French Alps. Established in 1951, the Physics School is situated at 1150 m above sea level in natural surroundings, with breathtaking views on the Mont-Blanc mountain range. Les Houches Physics School is funded by Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble-INP, ENS Lyon, CNRS and CEA.

Ecole de Physique des Houches, Côte des Chavants, F-74310 Les Houches, France.

Click here to learn more about the school, including practical information on travel, stay, facilities, etc…

school logo