LabEx Cell(n)Scale

Project grants

The purpose of Project grants is to initiate research projects in the scope of the LabEx Cell(n)Scale scientific objectives, at the interface between physics/chemistry and biology. This program aims at supporting innovative early stage projects, notably initiated by young researchers, acting as a lever to develop new, original ideas further and serve as a lever to obtain additional funding. The maximum amount per grant is fixed to 30k€. Project leaders will be asked to present the progress of their project at a LabEx seminar one year after its start.
Project grants - image team Sens

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants need to be members of the LabEx Cell(n)Scale
  • Projects can be led by any level of researcher, we highly encourage young/junior researchers to apply
  • Grants can be used for lab functioning and/or equipment; salaries and missions are not eligible

Evaluation criteria:

  • Collaborative projects: priority will be given to projects emerging from collaborations between several LabEx teams. However, we would like to emphasize that collaborations are not a requirement of the funding.
  • Multidisciplinarity: priority will be given to research proposals at the interface between biology, physics and/or chemistry
  • Projects should be innovative, non-conventional
  • Proof-of-concept: advantage will be given to projects at their initial stage, with a low chance to be funded by other sources
  • Priority will be given to young researchers, notably postdoctoral fellows

Applications must comprise (in the enclosed application form):

  • Public summary of the project
  • Brief résumé (CV) including publications of the applicants (maximum 1 page/partner)
  • Brief description of the research project including preliminary data when available (maximum 2 pages)
  • Support required (10 to 30k€) and justification of the expenses (lab functioning and equipment only)

LabEx Project Grants since 2012


2021. Deciphering the mechanisms of nuclear size scaling

S. Gemble (Team Basto UMR144), P. Sens (team leader UMR168) and R. Rollin (Team Sens UMR168)

  • Establish theoretical models that help us to characterize cellular architecture remodeling in response to modifications in cell size and to experimentally test the model in order to clearly define the functional and structural relationship between intracellular architecture and cell size, with implications in developmental biology and in various diseases.
2020. Spatial regulation of exocytosis

S. Miserey-Lenkei (Team Goud UMR144), Gaëlle Boncompain (Perez UMR144), Stéphanie Descroix (team leader UMR168), Pierre Sens (team leader UMR168)

  • Understand the mechanical influence of the cell microenvironment on the regulation and dynamics of secretion hotspots and monitor the organization and dynamics of secretion events in 3D and in polarized models.
2019. Nucleus deformation of triple negative cancer cells and mechanism of cell migration. C. Sykes (team leader UMR168), M. Piel (team leader UMR168)
  • Characterize the nucleus mechanics of tumor and metastatic Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines, their link to the cytoskeleton and cell contractility using microfluidic and biophysical approaches; investigate the effect on their migratory characteristics.
2019. Mechanisms of actin-driven membrane fission mediated by curved membrane proteins. F-C. Tsai (team Bassereau UMR168), A. Bertin (team Lévy UMR168), P. Sens (team leader UMR168), C. Delevoye (team Raposo UMR144)
  • Study how actin polymerization and architecture are coupled to membrane shape dynamics to generate sufficient forces to power membrane fission.
2018. Magnetic targeting and ultrasonic release of the inhibitors of the mice colon mechanotransductive tumorigenic pathways in vivo.

I. Farge (team leader UMR168)

  • Establish in mice a new optimized and patentable treatment of colorectal cancer, based on specific magnetic targeting and ultrasonic progressive release of the colon tumour mechanical induction inhibitor.
2018. Dynamic, super-resolution, volumetric imaging of cellular organization using reversible cryo-arrest technology. B. Hajj (team Dahan UMR168), M. Dahan (team leader UMR168)
  • Develop an instrument that combines state of the art 3D single molecule microscopy with low temperature reversible cell arrest to follow the evolution of molecular organization at different stages of the cell cycle.
2017. Integrin and aPKCi interplay in mammary epithelial cells during early steps of tumorigenesis. C. Rosse (team Chavrier UMR144), M. Romagnoli (team Glukhova UMR144)
  • Decipher the interplay between aPKCi and alpha6-integrin during the loss of polarity and cell extrusion induced by aPKCi-overexpression in mammary luminal cells leading to a deeper understanding of the early stages of mammary tumorigenesis.
2017. Explore the architecture of human centromeres and its influence on the maintenance of genome stability. D. Fachinetti (team leader UMR144), Lumicks
  • Investigate the chromosomal architecture of human centromeres and the components that are required for its maintenance in physiological conditions, and ascertain how genetic or physical manipulation of the centromere architecture affects chromosome integrity.
2016. Selective volumetric illuminaton microscopy (soSPIM-MFM). B. Hajj (team Dahan UMR168), M. Dahan (team leader UMR168)
  • Develop and combine cutting edge technologies in 3D imaging to reach an effective way for live imaging single molecules in the volume of a cell by combining volumetric detection using multifocus microscopy (MFM) with selective plane illumination.
2016. Influence of matrix stiffening on tumor cell invasion.

M. Verhulsel (team Viovy UMR168), Y. Attieh (team Vignjevic UMR144)

  • Analyze the relative importance of ECM stiffness in cancer cell invasion using 3D in vitro culture models that offer the ability to decouple all parameters at play in cancer cell invasion; identify whether stroma gets activated prior or post-invasion.
2016. Auxin-based conditional protein-protein interaction. D. Fachinetti (team leader UMR144), G. Van Niel (team Raposo UMR144), F. Verweij (team Raposo UMR144)
  • Develop a system to reversibly induce conditional protein-protein dimerization in living cells with rapid kinetics and adaptability to in vivo systems by adapting the Auxin Inducible Degron (AID) system. This will enable the simulation of protein-protein interaction in any phase of the cell cycle and within any compartment of the cell.
2015. Revealing the physiology of exosome secretion in vivo by a 4D-imaging approach. F. Verweij (team Raposo UMR144)
  • Develop a unique transgenic-zebrafish model that expresses a recently developed fluorescent reporter that visualizes exosome secretion from living cells in vitro to study the release dynamics of exosomes in detail.
2015. Formation and propagation of renal cysts: study in biomimetic tubular systems. S. Coscoy (team Silberzan UMR168), S. Descroix (team Viovy UMR168)
  • Investigate the dynamic multicellular organization of the renal epithelium involved in cyst generation in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), proliferation and planar polarity, in response to inherent geometrical constraints, acquired geometrical changes, and/or laminar flow disturbances.
2015. Combining theory of membrane deformations and force measurements to study the effects of local mechanical perturbations on plasma membrane organization. C. Lamaze (team leader UMR3666/U1143), P. Sens (team Joanny/Prost UMR168), D. Köster (NCBS Bangalore)
  • Study how caveolae affect the behavior of the plasma membrane on short time and length scales during a local change in cell membrane shape.
2015. Architecture of membrane associated machineries at sub-nanometer resolution. D. Levy (team leader UMR168), A. Bertin (team Levy UMR168), P. Bassereau (UMR168), S. Mangenot (team leader UMR168), C. Delevoye (team Raposo UMR144)
  • Build 3D models of proteins at sub-nanometer resolutions to understand how these proteins interacts, form specific assemblies and remodel membranes at the molecular level.

2013. Optogenetics to study interactions between normal and transformed cells.

I. Bonnet (team Silberzan/Buguin UMR168)

  • Investigate the crosstalk of mechanical and genetics factors on the tissue cohesion during early tumorigenesis, studying the dynamics at the interface between normal and precancerous cells in relation with mechanical state and oncogene activity. 
2013. Mechanical modification of collagen gels by single cells and spheroids. T. Betz (U. Münster), D. Vignjevic (team leader UMR144)
  • Combine cell biological and physics approaches to study if cancer cells modify the mechanical properties of their environment (collagen elasticity) during invasion, and if this facilitates the conditions for invasion.
2013. Magnetogenetic control of cell migration.

D. Lisse, M. Dahan (UMR168)

  • Development of magnetogenetics towards precisely controlling the migration of cells in 2D and 3D in vitro assays.
2013. Analysis of centrosomes in ovarian cancer.

R. Basto (UMR144), O. Goundiam (team Sastre, Hospital), X. Sastre (Hospital), JF. Joanny (UMR168), E. Barillot (U900), P. Hupé (U900)

  • Analysis of centrosome structural abnormalities
  • Identification and validation of key molecules (centrosomal proteins and/or regulators)
  • Link between centrosome amplification and DNA repair
2012. In vitro reconstitution of Myosin IIA-driven membrane fission.

P. Bassereau (UMR 168), B. Goud (UMR144)

  • Development of an in vitro system to mimic the MyoIIA–driven fission process. Membrane nanotubes will be pulled from giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) using optical tweezers and we will monitor tube stability in the presence of Rab6, MyoIIA, actin and ATP.
2012. Development of a minimal in vitro system of lipid membrane based amyloidogenesis

G. Raposo (UMR144), G. Van Niel (team Raposo UMR144), D. Levy (UMR168)

  • Study the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of amyloid fibers in exosomes through the establishment of a minimal in vitro model of amyloidogenesis that can be further exploited to understand pathological situations.