Alessandra Cambi

Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands


Title: Probing the environment: from nanoscale architecture to mesoscale dynamic spatial patterns of mechanosensory podosomes

Podosomes are dynamic integrin- and actomyosin-based multi-molecular adhesion structures involved in cell protrusion, topography sensing and extracellular matrix degradation in a variety of cells. With an actine core of ~0.5um, hundreds of podosomes organize in different mesoscale spatial arrangements ranging from large circular belts in bone-degrading osteoclasts to small rosettes in endothelial cells and well-defined large clusters in antigen-presenting cells. The molecular mechanisms regulating formation and maintenance of these mesoscale arrangements are still poorly defined. This lecture will describe our efforts to exploit and integrate a variety of advanced microscopy techniques to unravel the nanoscale structural and dynamic complexity of individual podosomes as well as formation, architecture and function of mesoscale podosome clusters.



Alessandra Cambi received a Ph.D in Biology at the University of Camerino (Italy) in 2000 and a Ph.D cum laude in Medical Sciences at the Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands) in 2005. During the first PhD, she investigated the enzyme cytidine deaminase, while during the second PhD, she studied how the nanoscale organization of membrane receptors regulates their function. As long-term EMBO postdoctoral fellow, she moved to the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen (Germany). In 2006 she returned to the Radboud University Nijmegen as junior group leader. In 2008, she was awarded a Young Investigator grant from the Human Frontier Science Program, and became assistant professor and permanent staff member of the Department of Tumor Immunology. In February 2014 she was appointed as associate professor of Nano-immunology. In March 2016, Cambi became full professor of Cell Biology and head of the Department of Cell Biology of the Radboud University Medical Center. She currently leads the Nanomedicine group, a young interdisciplinary team that studies fundamental mechanisms of cell biology, such as membrane receptor function and cytoskeletal structures involved in cell adhesion and migration, exploiting various high-resolution microscopy techniques and quantitative biophysical approaches.

Institutional Members of the Board of Trustees