Prof.Dr.Gijsje Koenderink


Prof. Dr. Gijsje Koenderink (1974) is full professor in the Bionanoscience Department of the TU Delft. She studied physical chemistry at Utrecht University (MSc 1998, Ph.D. 2003) and then trained as a Marie Curie postdoctoral Fellow at the VU University Amsterdam (2003-2004) and Harvard University (2004-2006). Between 2006-2019, she headed the Biological Soft Matter group at the AMOLF Institute in Amsterdam, where she also headed the Living Matter Department (2014-2019). In september 2019, she transferred her group to Delft. The Koenderink lab is an experimental research group centered around the soft matter physics of living matter. The central aim is to understand the physical mechanisms that enable living matter (cells and tissues) to combine mechanical strength with the ability to actively generate forces and change shape. To this end, the team combines concepts and methods from soft matter physics, biophysics, synthetic biology, and mechanobiology. Through collaborations, the research also extends to food and biomedical materials and research into implications of abnormal cell/tissue mechanics for cancer metastasis and thrombosis.

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), the P-G. de Gennes Prize (2018), and the Dresden Physics Prize (2020). 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).

Prof Koenderink is a member of the NWO Round Table Physics, the Topsector Chemistry Programme Committee for Chemistry of Advanced Materials, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the INM-Leibniz Institute of New Materials in Saarbrücken. She is also a ‘boegbeeld’ for the NWA-route Quantum Nanorevolutie. She is editorial board member of Physical Biology, advisory board member for Soft Matter. Within the TNW Faculty of TU Delft, she is one of the Faculty mentors for PhD students, a member of the Kavli Advisory Committee of the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience, and member of the TNW-Facultaire Loopbaancommissie. She is also a member of the core team for the Fundamentals of Health and disease Theme within the Convergence| Health & Technology alliance.

Reviews on cellular biophysics and the cytoskeleton:

  • A.B. Ndiaye, G.H. Koenderink, M. Shemesh, Intermediate filaments in cellular mechanoresponsiveness: mediating cytoskeletal crosstalk from membrane to nucleus and back, under review with Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
  • M. Dogterom, G.H. Koenderink, Actin–microtubule crosstalk in cell biology, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 20 (2019) 38-5
  • 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

Reviews on tissue mechanics and mechanobiology

  • I. Muntz, M. Fenu, GJVM van Osch, G.H. Koenderink. The role of cell-matrix interactions in connective tissue mechanics. Phys Biol. 19, 2022

  • R. Boot, G.H. Koenderink, P. Boukany, Spheroid mechanics and implications for cell invasion, Advances in Physics: X, 6 (2021) 1978316

  • 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)

Key publications

Prof.Dr.Gijsje Koenderink