Welcome to PolarNet

Integrating genetic, biophysical and computational approaches
to understand cell and tissue polarity

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network 675407

Position available, click here for details

Polarnet has three objectives


PolarNet brings together academic and private partners from 7 European countries to establish a multidisciplinary training and research programme. Through individual research projects, 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) will study the basic principles of cell polarity.


Network-wide training events focused on cell polarity, biophysical and modelling approaches, transferable skills and personal development complement the high quality research training. Secondment opportunities ensure exposure to the private sector.

Outreach & Dissemination

PolarNet aims to inform the general public of its goals and activities through this website and outreach events organized by the ESRs and supervisors. Research results will be communicated in peer-reviewed scientific journals and at conferences.

The individual projects address three main research goals


Understanding how polarity emerges from interactions between individual components requires
mathematical modelling informed by experimentally determined parameters. Four research projects aim to better understand the fundamental principles that govern cell polarity.

Cortical polarity complexes

Mutual inhibitory interactions between protein complexes located at the cell cortex play a major role in cell polarity. Four research projects aim to obtain new insights into the roles of cortical polarity regulators in complex settings such as tissues or migrating cells.


In an organism, polarized cells rarely act in isolation, but are part of a larger tissue. Seven research projects study polarity in a multicellular context. Topics include integration of polarity and tissue mechanics, maintenance of tissue integrity, and use of new organoid models.


NWO-SPINOZA award for Anna Akhmanova!

PolarNet PI Prof. Anna Akhmanova received the NWO Spinoza prize 2018 , for her research into the cytoskeleton. Alongside the Stevin Prize, the Spinoza Prize is the highest academic distinction in the Netherlands, often termed the Dutch Nobel Prize! Every year, NWO awards this prize to up to four researchers who belong to the very […]



A Masters student under my wing

It has been exactly a year and 4 months since I started my PhD in Sandrine Etienne-Manneville’s unit as a PolarNet ESR. Starting off in Institut Pasteur as a freshly graduated Master’s student from India was a drastic step and challenging as well. At the beginning of my PhD there were several techniques which were […]



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