Category Archives: Uncategorized


Deadline for applications: 8th May 2019

This application does not guarantee acceptance to the Summer School due to the limited number of participants, an email with the resolution of the applicaton process will be sent on June 15th 2019

The participation fee: 300€ (taxes not included)

The participation fee includes accomodation in shared double room (from 17th-20th September 2019), full-board, workshops and conferences, leisure activities and shuttle bus from Barcelona to the venue.





Research group:


Position: PhdPostDoc


If you are interested in giving a short talk about your work, send us your abstract

In accordance with the stipulations of the current Regulation on the Protection of Personal Data, you give your consent to the inclusion of your personal data into a processing system owned by the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). Read more about Data Protection.

I have read and
I agree to receive communications about events, news, and campaigns that may be of my interest.I do not agree to receive communications about events, news, and campaigns that may be of my interest.


Traction force microscopy
Organized by Pere Roca-Cusachs and Xavier Trepat labs(Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, IBEC)
Fundamentals of breast cancer biology
Organized by Patrick Derksen and Johan de Rooij labs(University Medical Center Utrecht, UMCU)
Vertex modelling in biomechanics
Organized by Marino Arroyo lab (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, UPC)
Chemistry of tuneable gels
Organized by Aránzazu del Campo lab (Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien, INM)
Single molecule mechanics
Organized by Sergi Garcia-Manyes lab (King’s College London, KCL)
Gel mechanics
Organized by NovioCell




Pere Roca Cusachs, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (chair)
Xavier Trepat, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (co-chair)
Marino Arroyo, Technical University of Catalonia-BarcelonaTech and Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (co-chair)





Download the complete agenda of the Mechanobiology of Cancer Summer School here

Schedule for the short talks sessions here

17:00 – 18:30 Arrivals
18:30 – 20:00 Arrivals
20:00 – 21:00 Arrivals
21:00 – 22:00 Dinner


09:00 – 09:45 Keynote Speaker: Guillaume SalbreuxPhysics of epithelial deformations
09:45 – 10:30
Leda Lacaria – Mechanical properties and structure of cortical cytoskeleton in micropatterned breast cancer cells
Yago Juste – The role of barotaxis in cancer cell migration
Jorge Barrasa – Enhancing the accuracy of 3D traction force microscopy by means of a physics-based inverse method
10:30 – 11:10 Coffee break
11:15 – 12:15
Ryan Murphy – An individual-based mechanical model of cell movement in heterogeneous tissues and its coarse-grained approximation
Julia Eckert – Approach to measure the Intracellular Stress of Cell-Cell Junctions
Sarah Boyle – Compressive forces in breast cancer activate RHO/ROCK-mediated cellular processes downstream of mechanosensitive ion channels
Pau Guillamat – Spiral and aster defects in monolayers of cells under confinement
12:15 – 13:00 Keynote Speaker: Buzz BaumCancer cell division
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 14:30 Free time
14:30 – 16:30 2h walking trip
17:00 – 18:30 “Vertex modelling in biomechanics”Workshop organised by UPC
18:30 – 20:00 “Single molecule mechanics” Workshop organised by KCL
20:00 – 21:30 BBQ
21:30 – 22:00 Cremat


09:00 – 09:45 Keynote Speaker: Marija PlodinecNanomechanical profiling of living epithelial tissues in health and disease and potential applications in routine clinical setting
09:45 – 10:30
Jennifer Young – Assaying ECM-conferred chemoresistance on orthogonal gradient hydrogel systems
Inés Velázquez-Quesada – Pranlukast antagonizes CD49f and reduces stemness in the MDA-MB-231 triple-negative breast cancer cell line
Isabelle Bourgot – Impact of cancer associated fibroblasts-derived cathepsin B on breast cancer progression
10:30 – 11:10 Coffee break
11:15 – 12:15
Karin Jansen – Basal-like breast cancer cells direct invasion by modulation of the extracellular matrix
Julian Eschenbruch – Cell force-mediated breast cancer invasion is attenuated by basement membrane integrity
Thomas Waring – Interrogation of acto-myosin mediated nuclear force coupling
Ignacio Viciano – Computational Modelling of the Cell Adhesive Interactions and Search of Small Molecule PPI Inhibitors as a Potential Cancer Drugs
12:15 – 13:00 Keynote Speaker: Peter FriedlPlasticity of adhesion and matrix guidance in cancer invasion and metastasis
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 17:00 Free Time

Video shooting

17:00 – 18:30 “Traction force microscopy”  Workshop organised by IBEC
18:30 – 20:00 “Gel mechanics” Workshop organised by Noviocell
20:00 – 20:45 Free time
20:45 – 22:00 Dinner and Sky Watching



09:00 – 09:45 Keynote Speaker: Andrew EwaldNovel roles of cell adhesion in breast cancer metastasis
09:45 – 10:30
Jenny Kechagia – The Integrin β4-keratin link impairs mechanosensing by protecting the nucleus form mechanical loading
Andrew Holle – Interplay between the nucleus and the cytoskeleton during self-directed breast cancer cell confined migration
Apeksha Shapeti – Quantifying 3D invasion and matrix deformations around CCM-2 depleted angiogenic sprouts highlights the role of mechanics in CCM
10:30 – 11:10 Coffee break
11:15 – 12:15
Magnus Bauer – Structural and mechanistic insights into mechanoactivation of Focal Adhesion Kinase
Lorna Young – Beta-pix and Myosin-18a are essential for adhesion-nucleus coupling required for breast cancer cell invasion
Santosh Phuyal – Spatiotemporal signalling of Rac1 at the endomembranes
Ariadna Marín – Linking epithelial size tension and pressure in curved epithelial monolayers
12:15 – 13:00 Keynote Speaker: Christina ScheelDynamic collagen deformation drives branching morphogenesis in mammary organoids derived from human breast tissue
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Free time
15:30 – 17:00 Poster Session
17:00 – 18:30 “Fundamentals of breast cancer biology” Workshop organised by UMCU
18:30 – 20:00 “Chemistry of tuneable gels” Workshop organised by INM
20:00 – 21:00 Free Time
21:00 – 22:00 Gala Dinner
22:30 – 01:30 Closing Celebration
09:30 Departure

Buzz Baum

Buzz Baum studied Biochemistry at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. He did his PhD (1993-1997) with Paul Nurse at Cancer Research UK, UCL. From 1997-2001, he joined Norbert Perrimon at Harvard Medical School. In 2001, he was awarded a Royal Society URF at UCL and he was appointed as a group leader at UCL’s MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology in 2007. He was appointed Professor of Cell Biology in 2011. Since 2018, he has also been the director of the Institute for the Physics of Living Systems (IPLS). Among many distinctions, he is one of the outstanding researchers in Life Sciences elected as EMBO members in 2013.

Buzz Baum is Group Leader at the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology (MRC LMCB), at UCL (London). His lab is interested in exploring the mechanisms (molecular, cellular and physical processes) that give rise to biological form and cell shape. Overall, the aim of his work is to better understand how eukaryotic cell shape evolved and to deeper investigate how the dynamic behavior of individual cells contributes to tissue structure and function in normal development and cancer progression.

In opposition to classic models that have always assumed that the nucleus and endomembrane system evolved within the cytoplasm of a prokaryotic cell, professor Baum and colleagues proposed an innovative “inside-out theory”. According to this alternative framework, an ancestral prokaryotic cell, homologous to the modern-day nucleus, extruded membrane-bound blebs beyond its cell wall. Expansion of those blebs and bleb-fusion steps yielded to the dynamic organization of modern eukaryotic cells. Buzz is also Professor of Cell Biology and Head of UCL Systems Biology.

The wider aims of his labs research are to better understand the evolution of eukaryotic cell shape, to determine how cells regulate their form, and to determine how these processes contribute to normal tissue development and homeostasis and, when they go awry, to the evolution of metastatic cancer.

Christina Scheel

Christina Scheel is a Max Eder Junior Research Group Leader “Normal and Malignant Mammary Stem Cells” Institute of Stem Cell Research, Helmholtz Center Munich since May 2012.

Dr. Scheel is currently a resident in dermatology at the St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany and a group leader at the Institute of Stem Cell Research, Helmholtz Center Munich, where she was the recipient of a Max Eder Starting Grant by the German Cancer Aid. Dr. Scheel trained as a postdoc in the group of Dr. Robert A. Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research in Cambridge, USA after obtaining her Medical Doctor at the Universities of Münster and Düsseldorf in Germany. In 2018, Dr. Scheel co-organized the Gordon Research Conference “Mammary Gland Biology – Mammary Gland Development and Breast Cancer from Systems Biology to Single Cell”.”

The research of the Scheel group focuses on mechanisms of epithelial plasticity in the context of normal regeneration and metastatic progression.

For this purpose, the group has developed an organoid assay for primary epithelial cells harvested from human breast tissue and milk. Epithelial plasticity, defined as the ability of cells to dynamically change cell state, for example from epithelial to mesenchymal, is crucial for many processes during epithelial morphogenesis and homeostasis. The Scheel lab is interested in identifying mechanisms of epithelial plasticity that promote tumor progression and therapeutic resistance in breast cancer by studying cell state transitions at the single-cell level. In the context of normal regeneration, they study how dynamic physical interactions with the extracellular matrix impinge on morphogenesis and plasticity during mammary organoid formation.”

Guillaume Salbreux

Guillaume did his PhD on the physics of active gels and cell mechanics at the Institut Curie, Paris, in the group of Jean-François Joanny and Jacques Prost. He then went to the University of Michigan for a postdoc with David Lubensky on the regular arrangement of cone cells in the Zebrafish retinal epithelium. He moved to the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPI-PKS) in Dresden where he worked in collaboration with Ewa Paluch, Stephan Grill and Carl-Philip Heisenberg.

In 2011 Guillaume started his group at the MPI-PKS on the physics of the cytoskeleton, working on the physics of active matter and cell and tissue mechanics, in further collaboration with Frank Jülicher, Anne Classen, Suzanne Eaton, Caren Norden and Jérome Solon.

In 2015 he established his lab at the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK. His group at the Crick works on developing quantitative approaches to describe physical processes in biology.

His lab studies how physics applies to biology. They use the law of physics and the approach of theoretical physics to understand the behavior of cells and tissues. Whith that they can then create a mathematical description of biological processes as they happen at the level of the cell or the whole tissue. Theoretical tools and computer programmes are very useful to compare our mathematical description to the reality of biological systems.

The Francis Crick Institute is dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Their work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections and neurodegenerative diseases. An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL, Imperial College London and King’s College London.

Peter Friedl

Peter Friedl holds the chair for Microscopical Imaging of the Cell at the St. Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands since October 2007, which includes the Core Facility for Microscopy at the Radboudumc. In addition, he fulfills the role of the head of the Cell Dynamics Laboratory and, since 11/2011 has a joint-appointment joint-faculty position as head of the imaging section at the David H. Koch Center, Department of Genitoureteal Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Professor, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology – Research, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Professor, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherland

His research theme is Cancer development and immune defence and his research interest is the visualization of cell-matrix interactions and dynamic cell patterning during immune cell interactions and tumor invasion. Therefore, they 3D extracellular matrix (ECM) based cell culture models and advanced imaging procedures. Recently, the group moved into in vivo-imaging of tumor and immune cell migration by multiphoton microscopy. This complements in vitro culture technology. These approaches have provided insight into the serial dynamics of T cell scanning across antigen-presenting cells and the diversity of tumor invasion mechanisms, as well as novel escape responses in tumor cell migration.

The Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS) main aim is to achieve a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms of disease. By integrating fundamental and clinical research, we obtain multifaceted knowledge of (patho)physiological processes.

Andrew Ewald

Andrew Ewald is an Associate Professor of Cell Biology, Oncology, and Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for Cell Dynamics. He also has secondary appointments in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Oncology. He received his BS from Haverford College, his PhD from California Institute of Technology, and his postdoctoral training from the University of California San Francisco.

Dr. Ewald received his undergraduate degree in physics with honours from Haverford College. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular physics from the California Institute of Technology. He completed postdoctoral work with Zena Werb in mammary biology and cancer at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ewald joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2008.

He is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, Society for Developmental Biology, and the American Society for Cell Biology. His work was recognized with the 2011 Morphological Sciences Award from the American Association of Anatomists for his contributions to the field of epithelial morphogenesis.

Dr. Ewalds investigation line is focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms of epithelial growth, invasion and metastasis; how clusters of cancer cells disseminate from the tumor, traverse the systemic circulation, and cooperate with resident stromal cells to colonize distant organs. His studies show how cells build organs and how these same cellular processes can contribute to breast cancer metastasis. Dr. Ewald’s research lab identified a unique class of breast cancer cells that lead the process of invasion into surrounding tissues—a first step in cancer metastasis. Further research is planned to examine if these cells are viable targets for therapy. His research group seeks to understand how cells build organs and how these same cellular processes can contribute to cancer metastasis.

The Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT) at Johns Hopkins University is an exceptionally diverse, multidisciplinary team of faculty, researchers, and student experts uncovering new knowledge and creating innovative technologies at the interface of nanoscience, engineering, biology, and medicine. Launched in 2006, INBT aims to revolutionize research by fostering a collaborative environment among engineers, scientist, and clinicians to pioneer new ways to solve some of the most complex challenges in healthcare and the environment.

Marija Plodinec

Marija Plodinec studied physics in Zagreb and received her doctorate in 2010 from the Maurice Müller Institute at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. Dr. Plodinec is a recognized expert in the field of physical sciences in oncology and has co-authored important scientific papers and patents in this field. She is also a member of several international organizations focusing on cancer research and its clinical applications. She is a Senior Principal Scientist at the University Hospital Basel since may 2015.

She co-founded ARTIDIS™ AG to further develop and market this platform for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. Since November 2017 she serves as the CEO of ARTIDIS™ AG and as a Member of its Board of Directors.

She has been instrumental in the development of ARTIDIS™, a device capable of distinguishing benign from malignant tissue. During her many years as a research associate at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and as a project leader at the University Hospital Basel, she has brought this technology from basic research to the first clinical studies.

ARTIDIS™, is an innovative nanotechnology tool for cancer diagnosis and treatment, seeks to improve people’s lives by dramatically reducing the time it takes to accurately diagnose breast cancer – from a period of days or weeks to as little as three hours —thereby substantially reducing anxiety and time lost.