Actualité - Award

A new success for Institut Curie researchers with the European Research Council (ERC)


Morphogenesis returns to the spotlight thanks to the success achieved by Institut Curie’s Scaling sensitivity project, led by Yohanns Bellaïche, with the European Research Council (ERC) last April.

Equipe Yohanns Bellaiche

The Scaling sensitivity project has just obtained an Advanced Grant, awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) following a hyper-selective competition.

I am delighted, as you can imagine, and I would like to emphasize the important of the team’s collective efforts in securing this funding 

declares Yohanns Bellaïche, Head of the Polarity, Division and Morphogenesis team and Deputy Director of the Genetics and Developmental Biology unit (CNRS, Inserm, Sorbonne University and Institut Curie) at Institut Curie’s Research Center.

After three grants received from the same European organization, this “ERC Advanced Grant” should enable the team to focus its efforts to better understand how the cell dimensions are perceived in and by the epithelial tissues in development, and how the sizes are modulated over time to take into account physiology, at different scales in terms of space (that of the cytoskeleton, the cell and the tissue) and time (from a second to several hours). Yohanns Bellaiche’s team is studying the basic mechanisms that enable the tissues to acquire a given size and shape during development.

During a recent research project, we demonstrated that the harmonious development of a tissue lies in a single property of the cells, namely that they measure their sizes*. This work raised a great many questions in terms of cellular biology, developmental biology and biophysics

Continues Bellaiche.

The result of a joint effort within the team and of interdisciplinary collaboration, these new questions served as a springboard for securing this ERC Advanced Grant, bringing in over 2 million euros over a period of 60 months.

This year the ERC is funding 209 researchers with these Advanced grants, for a total amount of 507 million euros, as part of the Horizon 2020 program, which is reaching its end. This funding is highly competitive since just 8% of candidates were selected, 22 of them researchers in France, as you can read on the ERC website.

* Lopez-Gay et al., Science 2020