About Action

Structural networks that connect the extracellular matrix and cell surfaces through the cytoskeleton with the nucleoskeleton govern cell, tissue and organ integrity. Besides their structural roles, these networks participate in a multitude of fundamental functions, e.g. regulating signal- and mechano-transduction, cytoplasmic transport, sequestering biomolecules, maintaining genome organization and promoting meiosis. Mutations in the building blocks of these networks frequently lead to devastating diseases. The pathogenesis of these diseases is far from being understood and requires a wide interdisciplinary approach that is distinct from the individual research schemes. Based on capacity building measures, coordinated networking and educative activities and interactions with business partners and European research infrastructures, the EuroCellNet Action aims to develop an orchestrated multinational activity grid, organized in four Working Groups:

  1. Biophysics of cell and tissue structure
  2. Structural analysis of biomolecules involved in mechanobiology
  3. New methodologies to study mechanobiology of cells and tissues
  4. Mechanobiological principles of rare and common diseases

The Action 15214 was extended by 6 months, i.e. the official end of the Action is 17 April 2021.

Following the extension, all the respective activities should be finished by January/February 2021.

The Action targets researchers from molecular and cell biology, genetics, biophysics, structural biology, mechanobiology, neurobiology, developmental biology, pathology, and translational medicine. The Action will also develop new bridging and educative activities, and provide the scientists with a unifying dedicated website with on-line tools facilitating the interactions and exchange of information.

Areas of Expertise Relevant for the Action

  • Biological siences: Molecular biology and interactions
  • Biological sciences: Structural biology (crystallography, NMR, EM)
  • Biological sciences: Epigenetics and gene regulation
  • Biological sciences: Morphology and functional imaging of cells
  • Basic medicine: Molecular and cellular neuroscience


  • Structural proteins
  • Mechanobiology
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Cell biology
  • pathogenesis

Specific objectives
To achieve the main objective, the following specific objectives shall be accomplished:

Research Coordination

  • To study the mechano properties of the nucleoskeleton, cytoskeleton, focal adhesion and extracellular matrix in various cells, tissues and organelles derived from different organisms and to use this information to determine the roles of individual molecular components in responding to mechanical strain and in activating mechano response pathways.
  • To analyze fundamental components and the structural mutations that alter the activity and assembly of cell adhesion, cytoskeleton and lamina associated assemblies through the interdisciplinary Action. To provide realistic view of the cellular machineries in situ, including the analysis of diseased cells. To combine the in vitro and in situ analysis in health and disease states in order to provide a realistic view of the mechano-sensitive systems.
  • To explore an effective use of advanced modern techniques of biological research, to introduce them in the target laboratories, and facilitate their implementation and teaching via orchestrated activities within the Action. Initiate, facilitate and promote interactions with advanced instrumentation manufacturers, resulting in faster implementation of new technologies in the EuroCellNet consortium, and also providing a beneficial feedback to the manufacturers.
  • To identify the consequences of various disease processes on mechanobiological properties of cells and tissues by studying mechanisms responsible for specific diseases, with the goal of designing experimental treatment approaches targeting these pathophysiological processes for the therapeutic benefit of patients.

How to become a Work Group member

1) The person who is interested in joining the WG completes an online application:

2) Completed form will be sent to the WG´s leader, WG leader will accept or reject an application.

3) The Core Group will approve or disapprove the request.

4) The Chair will inform the applicant

Participants to be reimbursed procedure

1) The organizer of each activity prepare a list of participants to be reimbursed

2) The organizer discusses with the leader of the relevant Work Group(s) the list

3) The list is submitted for a formal check to the office of the Action chair

4) The Chair submits the list for MC online vote or a vote at the MC meeting 

5) At ach of the steps of this procedure, in addition to the standard COST requirements, preference should be given to  participants from countries with lowest recorded participation in EuroCellnet Action history

Selection of activities procedure

1) An open call for all future activities with online forms is run whenever appropriate, typically, when discussing the next Grant periods. 

2) Each MC Member, MC Substitute, and WG Member can propose future activities, discuss them primarily within relevant Work groups.

3) Each proposer is asked to explain the scientific content, relevance to the programs of the WGs, and which Action deliverables and  outcomes would be achieved when granted.

4) All MC members are given the complete list of Activities proposed, and they evaluate them online for two criteria: 1) scientific excellence and 2) relevance to EuroCellnet aims.

5) Once the data is collected, the Work Groups discuss the outcome and give recommendation if needed to the Chair of the Action, and the Core group discusses the outcome of this MC evaluation of proposals, and proposes the budget and working plan for the next GP.  This draft is presented to the entire MC and pre-approved by an online vote. 

6) The Chair of Action will discuss the plans with the COST Scientific Officer, changes are adopted depending on SO suggestions and requests. After this, the Core Group finalizes the Work and Budget plans and submits if for final online approval to the entire MC.

Procedure for Selecting Dissemination Activities

1) Any MC Member can propose a dissemination activity at a meeting/congress together with a proposal for the Eurocellnet COST disseminator. For each Grant Period, a call for dissemination activity is held by the Action with two disseminators per each Grant Period maximum (according to the COST Vademecum).

2) The Action lead disseminator, who was elected at the beginning of the Action by MC, and the Core Group evaluate the proposal, and inform the Chair about the feasibility of the proposal regarding the COST Action aims and rules.

3) The Chair initiates an MC vote on the proposal based on the Core Group statement.


List of Members of the Management Committee

Memorandum of Understanding full text

COST GDPR information


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