Marija PLODINEC

I am a cancer biophysicist (B.Sc. in Physics and PhD in Structural Biology and Biophysics) with 10 years experience in conducting research from tissue scale down to single molecules. I have a broad background in cell biology, biochemistry, as well as in animal and human tissue experimentation. My scientific projects have been highly related to cancer research with the focus on understanding the mechanobiological relationships between cell and tissue components that contribute to cancer growth and initiation. More specifically, I designed and co-developed novel microscopy techniques based on the atomic force microscopy (ARTIDISĀ®, Automated and Reliable Tissue Diagnostics, Nature Nanotech., 2012, several patents) that are integrated into live cell fluorescence imaging and spinning disk confocal microscopy. The goal is to study cell-extracellular matrix interactions in situ. Currently I am working as a senior research associate at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland where I manage an interdisciplinary team focusing on two major areas of research 1) cell signaling processes mediated by the cell surface integrin receptors at the cell-ECM interface that are activated by changes in stiffness, chemical composition and architecture of basement membrane (BM) and 2) developing novel cancer diagnostics and prognostics assays using ARTIDIS based tissue profiling that is complemented by the genome sequencing and protein expression assays.