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EMBO Workshop

Cell polarity and membrane dynamics

16 – 21 May 2021 | Virtual

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  • Registration Deadline
  • 1 May 2021
  • Abstract Submission and Fee Waiver/Childcare Grant deadline
  • 15 April 2021
  • Apply early
  • Attendance will be capped at circa 150 participants

Apply now!

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About the Workshop

Cell polarity pathways play fundamental roles in defining the function, architecture, and fate of cells and in turn the generation and homeostatic control of multicellular tissues. Critically, mutations in polarity and membrane trafficking are common in cancer and other diseases, yet mechanisms remain poorly understood. As central architects of cell morphology, polarity pathways shape and in turn are shaped by the cell’s cytoskeletal and membrane networks. This EMBO Workshop will explore this intersection between polarity, cytoskeleton and cellular membrane networks in the context of polarized cells and tissues. It will bring together researchers from around the globe and across career stages to identify and highlight new principles of cellular organization and how these concepts impact our understanding of the role of polarity and membrane dynamics in human development and disease. This EMBO Workshop will be organized around core topics that represent the next frontier in our understanding of polarizing systems: spatiotemporal control of cell fate, principles of self-organizing networks, shaping and deploying dynamic membrane networks, integration of chemical and physical cues, coordinating polarity and membrane systems during multicellular development, and the implementation of cutting edge technology to reveal new principles in membrane organization.

Important notice: Due to ongoing restrictions on travel and large gatherings, the meeting will move to an online format. Please note the programme and registration changes. We have re-imagined the programme to focus on opportunities for networking, discussion and feedback.
Key changes: (1) The meeting will center around topic-focussed discussion sessions. (2) All talks except keynotes will be pre-recorded to enable the live sessions to focus on discussion. (3) Instead of posters, presenters will pre-record short talks and present in parallel small group discussions during the meeting.







  • Registration Deadline
  • 1 May 2021
  • Abstract Submission and Fee Waiver/Childcare Grant deadline
  • 15 April 2021
  • Apply early
  • Attendance will be capped at circa 150 participants



Note: a substantial number of need-based fee waivers and reimbursements will be available to help ensure no one is unable to attend due to financial considerations.

Registration includes:

  • Access to recorded seminars and all live events.


Payment will be requested from successful applicants upon acceptance to the meeting.

Selection criteria

Participants will be selected on the basis of scientific excellence with a strong consideration for PhD students and early-stage postdocs, ensuring excellent gender, demographic, geographic and basic/applied research balance.

Organizers will select 21 applicants for short talks and to take part in the platform topic-based discussion sessions.

Abstract guidelines

Abstracts must be in English. Titles should not exceed 200 characters, and the abstract text should contain no more than 300 words.

Poster specifications

In lieu of posters, participants not selected for a short talk will be asked to pre-record a 5-7 minute flash talk. Presenters will be assigned dedicated small group discussion slots to discuss their work that will run before and after the platform sessions.

Travel grants

In lieu of travel grants, a number of fee waivers will be available for participants. Applicants do not need to apply separately for fee waivers for this event but should indicate on the registration form if they wish to be considered for a fee waiver. Selection of awardees is handled directly by the organizer who will notify all eligible participants. More information is available at EMBO Travel Grants' page.

Specific fee waivers are available for participants of any nationality working in laboratories in Chile, India, Singapore and Taiwan. To apply, please send an email directly to the meeting organisers justifying your request.

Child care grant

EMBO Courses and Workshops offers grants to offset additional child care costs incurred by participants or speakers when participating at any EMBO Courses and Workshop funded meeting. Eligible costs include fees for a caregiver or child-care facility, travel costs for a caregiver, or travel costs for taking the child to the meeting etc. Please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to be considered for the grant. Please also describe how you intend to use the child care grant and specify the sum that you will need.




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