Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems Distinguished Lecture

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“Integration of Actin Dynamics & Cell Adhesion by a Three-dimensional, Mechanosensitive Molecular Clutch”

Clare M. Waterman, PhD

NIH Distinguished Investigator
Laboratory of Cell & Tissue Morphodynamics
National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute

Forces generated in the actin cytoskeleton are transmitted across transmembrane receptors to the extracellular matrix (ECM) or other cells during directed migration. Force transmission from the cytoskeleton to the receptors is mediated by a series of mechanosensitive regulatable, indirect protein-protein interactions termed the “molecular clutch.” In integrin-based focal adhesions, the proteins making up this linkage are organized into a conserved three-dimensional nano-architecture. Molecular clutches of similar architecture likely mediate cell adhesive interactions during tissue morphogenesis, the immune response, and vascular function.


Clare Waterman graduated from the Mount Holyoke college with a B.A. in biochemistry in 1989, received an M.S. in exercise science in 1991 from the University of Massachusetts, and received her Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. Prior to joining the NHLBI, she spent 9 years as a professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. Dr. Waterman is a NIH Distinguished Investigator and has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including the Arthur S. Flemming Award for Public Service (Basic Science) from George Washington University. Dr. Waterman has made fundamental advances in the understanding of cytoskeletal interactions and has authored or coauthored more than 90 papers. She currently serves on the editorial boards of Current Biology and Journal of Microscopy. Dr. Waterman is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology, Royal Microscopical Society, Biophysical Society, and is a Council Member of Gordon Research Conferences Organization.

Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) is a National Science Foundation and Technology Center.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Colly Mitchell
  • Created: 01/29/2015
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 04/13/2017


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