Stem cell mechanobiology in development and disease

18 – 21 October 2015 | Capri, Italy


About the workshop

Living organisms, from bacteria to humans, possess an amazing capacity to sense multiple features of the surrounding environment even at the nanometer scale. The molecular composition, rigidity and micro/nanotopography of the microenvironment trigger specific cellular responses including cell proliferation, survival, differentiation and migration.
While extensive studies have been devoted to achieving a better understanding of the soluble factors and the mechanism(s) by which they regulate the fate decisions, only recently a critical role has been revealed for physical and mechanical factors in controlling self-renewal and lineage specification of stem cells. Elucidating the relationship between mechanical deformation and biological response offers a prime target for differentiating stem cells, remodelling of engineered and regenerated tissues, and clarifying how the transduction of mechanical signals evolves throughout and impacts on our life and disease.
This EMBO Workshop aims at providing a cutting-edge view of the growing information on 'mechanobiology', an emerging multidisciplinary field of science at the interface of biology and engineering, that potently interprets cell fate and functions based on the complex mechanical-biochemical events occurring at the membrane, down to the nuclear level.
New advances in mechano-transduction will be discussed with a particular focus on how it controls stem cell behaviour and morphogenesis/development, and how its defects lead to disease state.

How cells are shaped, how they move, how their growth is controlled, and how they form larger tissues are fundamental questions that are biomechanical in nature. With a deeper understanding of the mechanical functions, new paradigms can be developed to guide differentiation and tissue development and to treat diseases. Mechanical signals from the extracellular matrix impact on cellular geometry resulting in specific changes in biochemical signals and gene expression programs. How such signals are transduced to the cell nucleus to elicit differential pattern of epigenetic and transcriptional response is poorly understood. The EMBO Workshop will encourage a motivated and multidisciplinary group of investigators to conceive innovative approaches to understand biological function and to pave the way towards the translation of mechanobiologic concepts in clinics and in biotechnological applications.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Mechanobiology in development and morphogenesis
  • Steering the mechanoresponse by micro/nanoengineered environments
  • Mechanotrasduction mechanisms
  • Cell migration in mechanically constrained environments
  • Stem cells and tissue regeneration: toward therapeutic applications


Abstract submission

April 1st – June 15th  2015

Selected participants will be notified by

June 30th 2015

Travel Grant Application

April 1st – June 15th  2015

Registration/Payment deadline

July 31st 2015

Apply now!

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Download poster







Abstract submission

April 1st – June 15th  2015

Selected participants will be notified by

June 30th 2015

Travel Grant Application

April 1st – June 15th  2015

Registration/Payment deadline

July 31st 2015





Students Post-doc/ Academic Industry







Registration fee includes:

  • Full Accommodation
  • Participation in all lectures
  • Workshop material
  • Coffee breaks, all lunches and dinners


The workshop is limited to 120 participants. Selection criteria will be based on:

  • CV
  • Abstract
  • Motivation letter

Abstract Guidelines

All applicants are requested to fill out the online application form by submitting an abstract (download the abstract form on the online application page) on their current research and present a poster (size must be maximum 90cm width x 110cm height). Due to limited space, posters exceeding the indicated size cannot be displayed.

Short oral presentations will be selected among the submitted abstracts. The selected presentations will be notified by September 15th, posters are therefore not required.



Successful participants will receive an email with the payment link.


Awards for the best poster will be announced at the end of the workshop. Preference will be given to a young scientist.


A small number of travel grants are available for students and postdocs from laboratories in selected countries, including primarily Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey. For eligibility questions, contact the organizers.

More information is available on the EMBO Travel Grants' page.

Travel grants will not exceed €400 and will cover the cost of travel. The grants will be awarded at the organizers' discretion, based on CV and a brief letter (500 words maximum), which will include your motivation for attending the workshop and the estimated costs of travel to and from Napoli. Reimbursement of the registration fee will be covered by additional funds from sponsors.



Anna Maria Aliperti

Phone: +39 81 6132401


Federica Staempfli

Phone: +39 81 6132402







Hotel La Palma, Capri, Naples
Via V. Emanuele 39, 80073 CAPRI (Na) Italy
Ph. +39 081 8370133 Fax +39 081 8376966


Registration will start at 2.30pm on Sunday October 18th and the first session will start at 4.30pm.
The Registration desk will be located in the main hall of the Hotel La Palma.




venue map


If you arrive at Naples Capodichino Airport, you can either take a taxi (taxis should display exact fares, avoid taxis that don't do this).

The Airport bus: Alibus ANM to Piazza Municipio tickets can be purchased on board (4 Euro) and is valid for 90 minutes for use on all local public transportation. Buses depart every 30 minutes from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm.
If you arrive at Rome Leonardo da Vinci airport, take the airport train to Stazione Termini and then a train to Naples Stazione Centrale. For timetables, please check the website here. From the Station, you can either take a taxi or a bus to Piazza Municipio it takes about 30 minutes.
Hydrofoils and ferries to Capri depart from Molo Beverello and are in front of Piazza Municipio. The boats run from 7am to about 6pm and takes about 50 min therefore you should arrive in Naples no later than 5pm.
 All boats reach the Capri Marina Grande port. From there take the Cable Railway to Piazza Umberto (the famous Piazzetta) to Hotel La Palma, which is a two minutes walk away (Via Vittorio Emanuele 39, Capri, Tel. +39/081-8370133; Fax +39/081-8376966). The island can also be reached from Sorrento and Positano.


Accommodation and meals are provided by the Hotel La Palma, a traditional Capri Hotel located within 2 minutes walking distance from the famous "Piazzetta".
The location has always been highly regarded by past participants because of the intimate, fun, informal environment. Most importantly it is highly conducive to fostering interactions. In particular the hotel has wonderful common spaces, including a terrace and a hall that has many sofas and armchairs where many informal scientific discussions have been held.
Participants will be lodged in double rooms, a very limited number of single rooms is available.

Hotel La Palma is in the centre of Capri, close to the famous square Umberto I (well known as “Piazzetta”).  It is in the perfect position to reach the incredible sites of the Island: i Giardini di Augusto, Via Krupp, La Certosa and the Faraglioni.
The Piazzetta can be reached from the port by taxi, bus and funicular railway ( Hotel la Palma is a only few steps away from the square.