Karin Jansen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Pathology department at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands. Dr.ir. Jansen received her master degree in 2011 at the Technical University Delft (Netherlands) and her PhD from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam at 2016.
In her PhD, Dr.ir. Jansen elucidated the origin of stiffening of soft extracellular matrix (ECM) under influence of mechanical forces. During this work, she developed a keen interest in how the ECM structure and mechanics changes in development and disease states, and how cells respond to these changes. She did a postdoc in Christoph Ballestrem’s lab at the University of Manchester, UK (2015 to 2017), where she learned how different cell types interact with their environment via integrins, using two dimensional model systems to control stiffness (polyacrylamide gels) and various micro-patterning techniques. As part of the Mechanocontrol Consortium, Dr.ir. Jansen continues to work on mechanobiology in the group of Patrick Derksen at the Pathology department, University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands, now in a three dimensional setting using breast cancer organoids. Using both stiffened collagen models and synthetic gels, she aims to elucidate which signals from the ECM are necessary for the initial cancer invasion step.