Prof.Dr.Gijsje Koenderink


Prof. Dr. Gijsje Koenderink (1974) is full professor in the Bionanoscience Department of the TU Delft since 1-9-2019 and professor by special appointment at the VU University Amsterdam since 2010. She obtained a MSc (cum laude, 1998) and Ph.D. (cum laude, 2003) in Chemistry at Utrecht University and trained as a Marie Curie postdoctoral Fellow at the VU University Amsterdam (2003-2004) and Harvard University (2004-2006). In 2006 she established the Biological Soft Matter group at the FOM Institute AMOLF, where she also headed the Living Matter Department (2014-2019). Koenderink’s group focuses on quantitative experimental studies of the material properties of cells and tissues. She combines bottom-up synthetic biology approaches with multiscale physical characterization from single molecule force spectroscopy to rheometry. Her group closely collaborates with biological and biomedical groups to address the role of cell and tissue mechanics in disease and tissue regeneration.

Prof. Koenderink received various distinctions, including an NWO VIDI (2008), elected membership of the Young Academy of the KNAW (2008), ERC Starting Grant (2013), NWO VICI (2019) and the P-G. de Gennes Prize (2018). She is a co-recipient of the NWO-Gravitation program Basyc (2017-2027) and she led the NWO-Unilever Industrial Partnership Programme Hybrid Soft Matter (2014-2019). She is the Chair of the NWO Round Table Physics since 2017 and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the INM-Leibniz Institute of New Materials in Saarbrücken, Germany (since 2016). She is a member of the editorial board of the journals Soft Matter (since 2017) and European Physical Journal E (since 2012). Koenderink published >100 peer-reviewed papers with >3500 citations (h-index 36, ISI). She gave >70 invited conference talks, 40 invited seminars, and many lectures at international graduate schools and popular seminars.

Five key reviews:

  • F. Burla, Y. Mulla, B.E. Vos, A. Aufderhorst-Roberts, G.H. Koenderink, From mechanical resilience to active material properties in biopolymer networks, Nature Physics Reviews 1, 249–263 (2019)
  • F. Burla, J. Tauber, S. Dussi, J. van der Gucht, G.H. Koenderink, Stress management in composite biopolymer networks, Nature Physics 15: 549–553 (2019)
  • M. Dogterom, G.H. Koenderink, Actin–microtubule crosstalk in cell biology, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 20 (2019) 38-54
  • J. Alvarado, M. Sheinman, A. Sharma, F.C. MacKintosh, G.H. Koenderink, Force percolation of contractile active gels, Soft Matter, 13(24): 5624-5644 (2017)
  • F Huber, A Boire, MP Lopez, GH Koenderink, Cytoskeletal crosstalk: when three different personalities team up, Current Opinion in Cell Biology 32 (2015) 39


See this page for an overview of all the teaching activities of Gijsje Koenderink.

Key publications

Prof.Dr.Gijsje Koenderink


Latest Updates

  • Iain Muntz from the Koenderink lab together with Rachel Cahalane/Frank Vossen (ErasmusMC/TUD-3ME) and Milica Dostanic/Massimo Mastrangeli (TUD-EWI) were awarded €2500 by the Delft Bioengineering Institute to sponsor a joint interdisciplinary MSc project entitled ‘Engineering of a thrombus-on-chip model for stroke prevention’. The mechanical properties of blood clots are governed by interactions of platelets with blood clot components such as fibrin. The platelets strongly contract the fibrin matrix but to date, no quantitative measurements have been made to measure these contractile forces. In this project, we will combine biochemical reconstitution of artificial thrombi (TUD, 3ME) with the fabrication of PDMS micropillar devices to measure contractile forces (TUD, EWI) and with biophysical characterization using a microscale-indentation device (TUD, TNW). We can thus elucidate how the clot composition affects platelet-driven contraction during its formation, and how contraction in turn affects the mechanical properties of blood clots. The answers to these questions will provide key insight into blood clot mechanics and will lead to improvements in revascularisation techniques to prevent stroke.
  • Lucia has a blog and interview to inform the general public on the principles of her research
  • October 6th, 2020: Lucia wins the Dutch Biophysics poster prize