Physical Biology of Tissue Morphogenesis - Mechanics, Metabolism and Signaling

International Workshop
17 - 21 October 2016

A fundamental problem in biology is to understand how complex tissues, organs and organisms emerge during morphogenesis. Morphogenesis results from a genetic program that collectively organizes many cells in space and time that are generated by subsequent cell divisions. Morphogenesis involves the formation of pattern in processes that integrate chemical and mechanical processes. Biochemical signals are produced by cells and detected by other cells nearby or at a distance. Cell division and cellular force generation are mechanical events that lead to cell rearrangements, cell flows and tissue deformations.

Emerging tissue morphologies during development are remarkably reproducible. At the same time, some aspects such as tissue size can vary significantly if for example temperature or nutrition are altered. This suggests that metabolic processes are tighly integrated not only with cell growth and division but also with larger scale patterning processes in developing tissues.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together scientists from different disciplines to discuss recent progress to understand the collective organization of cells during morphogenesis. How do correct shape and size of tissues emerge from genetic programs that guides cell division, cell growth, cell rearrangements and the patterning of tissues by chemical signals? What is the role of active mechanical processes and how is morphogenesis coupled to metabolism? Such questions will be addressed during the workshop. New microscopy techniques and image analysis make it possible to track cells in a developing tissues in vivo and to study how tissue scale morphologies emerge from many cellular events. Quantitative experiments together with theoretical approaches play an important role to identify key mechanisms that guide morphogenesis. Theoretical approaches at different scales complement each other - from the study of stochastic signaling processes on the cell scale to the continuum limit of tissues as active matter.

Topics include

  • Morphogenesis
  • Active matter
  • Metabolism
  • Tissue dynamics
  • Signaling pathways
  • Tissue mechanics
  • Cell polarity
  • Metabolic networks

Invited speakers

• Jérôme Bibette (Paris, France)
• Giovanni Cappello (Saint Martin d'Hères, France)
• Jaume Casademunt (Barcelona, Spain)
• Guillaume Charras (London, UK)
• Jens Elgeti (Jülich, Germany)
• Jocelyn Étienne (Grenoble, France)
• Erwin Frey (München, Germany)
• Marcos Gonzalez-Gaitan (Geneva, Switzerland)
• Oskar Hallatschek (Berkeley, USA)
• Lars Hufnagel (Heidelberg, Germany)
• Kenneth D. Irvine (Piscataway, USA)
• Laura Johnston (New York, USA)
• Pierre Léopold (Nice, France)
• Madhav Mani (Evanston, USA)
• Helen McNeill (Toronto, Canada)
• Andrew Oates (London, UK)
• Masayuki Oginuma (Boston, USA)
• Eugenia Piddini (Cambridge, UK)
• Jochen Rink (Dresden, Germany)
• Guillaume Salbreux (London, UK)
• Nathalie Spassky (Paris, France)
• Nic Tapon (London, UK)

Scientific Coordinators

Yohanns Bellaïche
(Institut Curie, Paris, France)
Suzanne Eaton
(Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany)
Jean-François Joanny
(ESPCI ParisTech, Paris, France)
Frank Jülicher
(Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany)


Katrin Lantsch
(Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany)


Poster [pdf-file]


The deadline for applications was 31 July 2016. The participants' list is closed.

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Scientific Program's Structure

Sunday, 16 October 2016: Welcome reception 19:00 - 21:30
Scientific program: Monday, 17 October 2016, 08:45 to Friday, 21 October 2016, 12:45

How to reach us

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