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Interaction and feedback between cell mechanics and fate specification in vertebrate gastrulation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "MECSPEC" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Am Campus 1
postcode: 3400

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Austria [AT]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙306˙862 €
 EC max contribution 2˙306˙862 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-07-01   to  2022-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Embryogenesis is achieved by the close interplay between the gene regulatory networks that control cell fate specification and the physical processes by which the embryo takes shape. While each of these systems has been extensively investigated over the past decades, comparably little is yet known about how they functionally interact across different scales of organization within the physiological context of the developing embryo. The central aim of this proposal is to elucidate the fundamental principles underlying the interaction and feedback between cell mechanics and fate specification during vertebrate gastrulation. Using zebrafish as a vertebrate model organism, we will explore how germ layer progenitor cell fate specification affects the physical processes by which the gastrula takes shape, and, vice versa, how alterations in cell/tissue mechanics feed back onto the gene regulatory networks and signals controlling progenitor cell fate specification during gastrulation. To dissect the fundamental mechanisms underlying this crosstalk, we will combine genetic, cell biological and biophysical experimentation with mathematical modeling. We expect that this transdisciplinary approach will provide answers to a central yet unresolved question in developmental biology: how the interplay between cell mechanics, dynamics and fate specification drives embryo morphogenesis and patterning.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Nicoletta I Petridou, Carl‐Philipp Heisenberg
Tissue rheology in embryonic organization
published pages: , ISSN: 0261-4189, DOI: 10.15252/embj.2019102497
The EMBO Journal 38/20 2020-03-24
2019 Shayan Shamipour, Roland Kardos, Shi-Lei Xue, Björn Hof, Edouard Hannezo, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg
Bulk Actin Dynamics Drive Phase Segregation in Zebrafish Oocytes
published pages: 1463-1479.e18, ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.04.030
Cell 177/6 2020-03-24
2019 Edouard Hannezo, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg
Mechanochemical Feedback Loops in Development and Disease
published pages: 12-25, ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.05.052
Cell 178/1 2020-03-24
2019 Daniel ÄŒapek, Michael Smutny, Alexandra-Madelaine Tichy, Maurizio Morri, Harald Janovjak, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg
Light-activated Frizzled7 reveals a permissive role of non-canonical wnt signaling in mesendoderm cell migration
published pages: , ISSN: 2050-084X, DOI: 10.7554/elife.42093
eLife 8 2020-03-24
2019 Cornelia Schwayer, Shayan Shamipour, Kornelija Pranjic-Ferscha, Alexandra Schauer, Maria Balda, Masazumi Tada, Karl Matter, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg
Mechanosensation of Tight Junctions Depends on ZO-1 Phase Separation and Flow
published pages: 937-952.e18, ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.10.006
Cell 179/4 2020-03-24
2019 Nicoletta I. Petridou, Silvia Grigolon, Guillaume Salbreux, Edouard Hannezo, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg
Fluidization-mediated tissue spreading by mitotic cell rounding and non-canonical Wnt signalling
published pages: 169-178, ISSN: 1465-7392, DOI: 10.1038/s41556-018-0247-4
Nature Cell Biology 21/2 2020-03-24
2019 Peng Xia, Daniel Gütl, Vanessa Zheden, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg
Lateral Inhibition in Cell Specification Mediated by Mechanical Signals Modulating TAZ Activity
published pages: , ISSN: 0092-8674, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.01.019
Cell 2020-03-24

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