#IDIBELLseminars: Regulation of cell fate and integrity by nuclear mechanotransduction

Sara A. Wickström

Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine



Pau Viladiu


The structure of tissues is tightly linked to their function. During formation of functional organs, large-scale changes in tissue elongation, stretching, compression, folding/buckling, and budding impact the shape, position, packing, and contractility state of cells. Conversely, changes in single cell contractility, shape and position locally alter tissue organization and mechanics. Thus, forces function as important ques that are transmitted to the nucleus to coordinate gene expression programs to control cell states. On the other hand, excessive mechanical stresses have the potential to damage cells and tissues. In my presentation I will discuss our recent research on how cells use the nucleus and the nuclear envelope/chromatin interface to sense mechanical forces and how these mechanosignals are integrated with biochemical inputs to alter cell states and to protect against force-induced damage.

Hosted by Carolina Florian – Stem Cell Aging Group


Sara A. Wickström received her MD in 2001 and PhD in 2004 from the University of Helsinki, Finland. After postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biochemistry she became Group Leader at the MPI for Biology of Ageing in 2010. In 2018 her laboratory moved to the University of Helsinki where she was professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. In 2022 Wickström was appointed as Director of the MPI for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster.
Research in the Wickström lab aims to understand how mammalian epithelial tissues are generated and maintained, and in particular how mechanical forces and cellular interactions integrate single cell behaviors to pattern these structurally extremely robust yet dynamic tissues.

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