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


From 2006 until 2019, I worked as a full-time scientific group leader at the NWO Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam. During this period I have taught invited M.Sc. & B.Sc. lectures in biophysics at Wageningen University, Utrecht University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam University College, ErasmusMC, Radboud University Nijmegen, and invited PhD courses in biophysics & cell biology at the TU Dresden, Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, Les Houches, St Catherine’s College Oxford UK, Forschungszentrum Jülich, EMBL Heidelberg, and Corsica.

Prof.Dr.Gijsje Koenderink



Latest Updates

  • Friday 25th September 2020: Gijsje Koenderink presents her inaugural lecture entitled ‘Een langdradig verhaal over leven’
  • The Biosoft Group is happy to welcome 9 new arrivals this September! Check our people page for more info
  • We are sad to say goodbye to Cristina Martinez Torres, who leaves us to start new page in Berlin. Much success in your future path Cristina!