Matthew Paszek
Assistant Professor

Matthew Paszek




School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
360 Olin Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853


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Department Profile


Matthew Paszek is an Assistant Professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at Cornell University in 2002 and a Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. He was a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of California, San Francisco in 2012 and a Kavli Fellow Postdoctoral Associate at Cornell in 2013. In 2014, he joined the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering as an Assistant Professor.

Research Description

My research program lies at the interface of biophysics, glycobiology, and nanoscience. Several proposed projects will be highly suitable for Biophysics graduate students. (1) We intend to build a new custom high-speed variant of our scanning angle interference microscope using fast electro- and acousto-optics. The project’s goal is to investigate how physical constraints in the cell-ECM and cell-cell interfaces facilitate functional clustering of receptor systems, such as integrins, cadherins, and juxtacrine signaling receptors (e.g., Eph). (2) In a second project, we will investigate whether multivalent lectins on the cell surface link receptors via their extracellular glycol-conjugates to form functional signaling clusters. The project will entail super-resolution imaging approaches and quantitative analysis to evaluate receptor organization at the nanoscale, and computational modeling to investigate the significance of observed receptor patterns. (3) A third project will investigate how cell surface glycoproteins collectively function as a sensory material that enables cells to feel and respond to the stiffness of their microenvironment.


Dufort CC, Paszek MJ. Imaging nanoscale cellular features with scanning angle interference microscopy. In preparation, Methods in Cell Biology – Quantitative Fluorescence Microscopy.

Paszek MG, Dufort CC, Rossier O, Bainer R, Mouw JK, Godula K, Hudak JE, Lakins JN, Wijekoon A, Cassereau L, Rubashkin MG, Magbanua MJ, Thorn KS, Davidson MW, Rugo HS, Park JW, Hammer DA, Giannone G, Bertozzi CR, Weaver VM. 2014. The cancer cell glycocalyx mechanically primes integrin dependent growth and survival. In revision, Nature.

Stehbens SJ, Paszek MJ, Pemble H, Wittmann, T. 2014. CLASP-mediated endocytosis controls extracellular matrix degradation and adhesion turnover in migrating epithelial cells. In revision, Nature Cell Biology.

Paszek MJ, Dufort C, Rubashkin MG, Davidson MW, Thorn KS, Liphardt JT, Weaver VM. 2012. Scanning angle interference microscopy reveals cell dynamics at the nano-­-scale. Nature Methods 9: 825-827.

Dufort CC, Paszek MJ, Weaver VM. 2011. Balancing forces: architectural control of mechanotransduction (Review). Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 12: 308-319.

Paszek M, Weaver V. 2010. Biophysics. Enforcing order on signaling (Perspective). Science 327: 1335-1336.

Paszek MJ, Boettiger D, Weaver VM, Hammer DA. 2009. Integrin clustering is driven by mechanical resistance from the glycocalyx and substrate. PLoS Computational Biology 5: e1000604.

Paszek MJ, Zahir N, Johnson KR, Lakins JN, Rozenberg GI, Gefen A, Reinhart-King CA, Margulies SS, Dembo M, Boettiger D, Hammer DA, Weaver VM. 2005. Tensional homeostasis and the malignant phenotype. Cancer Cell 8: 241-254. (Cited over 875 times.)

Paszek MJ, Weaver VM. 2004. The tension mounts: mechanics meets morphogenesis and malignancy (review). J. Mammary Gland Biology & Neoplasia 9: 325-342.