Paul Matsudaira


The Matsudaira Lab studies the role of mechanics in epithelial tissue migration and remodeling during development and disease. The organization and migration of epithelial tissues are sensitive to the underlying substratum, especially on visco-elastic substrates. This range of stiffness defines the environment of most basement membranes, cell-cell interactions, and early developmental processes.

Prof Matsudaira at the CBIS CryoEm Facility

On the one hand, the lab is interested in the mechanical signatures of the development of chirality, convergence, and extension during the early steps in morphogenesis of the Zebrafish embryo. Other studies are focused on the role of substrate viscoelasticity in tissue remodeling during disease and its regulation by cell-matrix and cell-cell signaling pathways. In order to study complex, multi-scale dynamics the lab develops and applies novel imaging methods such as in situ TEM and strain light-sheet microscopy.


Formerly a biology and bioengineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Paul Matsudaira has studied the cytoskeleton since graduating from college. He was the EM technician of Tom Schroeder where he helped investigate the role of microfilaments in the contractile ring. As a graduate student of Dave Burgess he identified the structure and function of the intestine brush border cytoskeleton. Following postdoctoral research on the assembly of actin bundles at the MPI Biophysical Chemistry with Klaus Weber and the MRC LMB with Alan Weeds, Paul started his academic career at the Whitehead Institute and MIT where his lab studied biophysics of actin and other polymer protein bundles, mechanics of polymers and single cells motility, and developed microanalytical methods. In 2009, he moved to Singapore to establish the Centre for BioImaging Sciences, head the Department of Biological Sciences, and help found the Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore.

Selected Publications (5 of 177)

Zheng J, Han SP, Chiu YJ, Yip AK, Boichat N, Pauli AR, Zhu S, Matsudaira P. 2017 Substrate viscoelasticity induces coalescence of epithelial monolayers via subcellular redistribution of vinculin. Biophys J. 113:1585-98.

Loh D, Sen S, Bosman M, Tan SF, Zhong J, Nijhuis C, Kral P, Matsudaira P, Mirsaidov U. 2016 Multi-step nucleation of nanocrystals in aqueous solution. Nat. Chem 9:77-82.

Ai Kia Yip, Keng-Hwee Chiam and Paul Matsudaira. Traction stress analysis and modeling reveal that amoeboid migration in confined spaces is accompanied by expansive forces and requires the structural integrity of the membrane–cortex interactions. Integrative Biology, 2015, DOI: 10.1039/ C4IB00245H. First published online 27 May 2015

Bhattacharya D, Singh V R, Zhi C, Peter T C, Matsudaira P, Barbastathis G. 2012. Three dimensional HiLo-based structured illumination for a Digital Scanned Laser Sheet Microscopy (DSLM) in thick tissue imaging. Optics Express 20(25):27337-27347.

Mirsaidov UM, Zheng H, Bhattacharya D, Casana Y, Matsudaira P. 2012. Imaging protein structure in water at 2.7 nm resolution by TEM. Biophys J. 102:L15-7.