Paul Janmey



1010 Vagelos Laboratories

3340 Smith Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Description

Our lab studies several aspects of cell mechanics. In one project, we produce soft materials, usually hydrogels, to which cell adhesion proteins are linked to study how the stiffness of surfaces alters cell structure, function, and growth. Endothelial cells, fibroblasts, neurons and astrocytes each show unique dependence on both elastic and viscous properties of the substrate, and we seek to understand how they sense and respond to this mechanical cue. In related work we measure the structure and mechanics of cytoskeletal polymers using a variety of imaging, scattering, and rheologic methods. Further studies examine how changes in cell membrane structure mediated by inositol phospholipids lead to production of signals that remodel the cytoskeleton.

Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

  • Sponsor for undergraduate students and high school teachers in REU and RET programs within NSF-supported CEMB and MRSEC programs at Penn.
  • Lab composition within the last 10 years:  17% URM; 56% female
Degrees & Education

PhD, University of Wisconsin, 1982

AB, Oberlin College, 1976

Honors & Awards

2007 Humboldt Research Award

2018 Fellow, American Physical Society

2019 Honoris Causa, University of Latvia

Other Perelman School of Medicine Affiliations

Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group

Pennsylvania Muscle Institute

Professional Affiliations

American Society for Cell Biology

Biophysical Society

Recent Publications
June 22, 2022
Unique Role of Vimentin Networks in Compression Stiffening of Cells and Protection of Nuclei from Compressive Stress
Ekaterina Grishchuk, Ph.D., Paul Janmey, Ph.D.
Pogoda K, Byfield F, Deptuła P, Cieśluk M, Suprewicz Ł, Skłodowski K, Shivers JL, van Oosten A, Cruz K, Tarasovetc E, Grishchuk EL, Mackintosh FC, Bucki R, Patteson AE, Janmey PA. Nano Letters 2022 Jun 22;22(12):4725-4732. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.2c00736. Epub 2022 Jun 9. PMID: 35678828; PMCID: PMC9228066.
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December 5, 2021
Extracellular Vimentin as a Target Against SARS-CoV-2 Host Cell Invasion
Paul Janmey, Ph.D.
Suprewicz L, Swoger M, Gupta S, Piktel E, Byfield FJ, Iwamoto DV, Germann D, Reszec J, Marcinczyk N, Carroll RJ, Janmey PA, Schwarz JM, Bucki R, Patteson AE - DOI: 10.1002/smll.202105640
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November 1, 2021
Physics and Physiology of Cell Spreading in Two and Three Dimensions
Paul Janmey, Ph.D.
Janmey PA, Hinz B, McCulloch CA. DOI: 10.1152/physiol.00020.2021
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January 8, 2021
Vimentin binds to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and antibodies targeting extracellular vimentin block in vitro uptake of SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles
Paul Janmey, Ph.D.
Suprewicz, L., M. Swoger, S. Gupta, E. Piktel, F.J. Byfield, D.V. Iwamoto, D.A. Germann, J. Reszec, N. Marcinczyk, P. Janmey, J.M. Schwarz, R. Bucki, and A. Patteson - DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.08.425793
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January 15, 2021
In search of the correlation between nanomechanical and biomolecular properties of prostate cancer cells with different metastatic potential
Paul Janmey, Ph.D.
Pogoda, K., E. Pieta, M. Roman, N. Piergies, D. Liberda, T.P. Wrobel, P.A. Janmey, C. Paluszkiewicz, and W.M. Kwiatek - DOI: 10.1016/
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December 1, 2020
The vimentin cytoskeleton: when polymer physics meets cell biology
Paul Janmey, Ph.D.
Patteson, A.E., R.J. Carroll, D.V. Iwamoto, and P.A. Janmey - DOI: 10.1088/1478-3975/abbcc2
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