Frank B. Gertler

Frank B. Gertler

Professor of Biology; Charles Ross Scholar

Frank B. Gertler considers the role of cell shape and movement in developmental defects and diseases.





Ryan Hayman



Assistant Phone


PhD 1992, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research Summary

Our research combines mouse genetics, cell biological and biochemical approaches to investigate the interplay between signal transduction pathways and the actin cytoskeleton. We deduce the functional importance of these regulatory systems in organismal development and disease. Our main focus is cell motility and the control of cellular protrusions — specifically, motility during tumor cell invasion and metastasis, as well as how neurons migrate and extend their growth cones.


  • Ross Scholar Award, 2006
  • ASCB/Promega Early Career Life Scientist Award, 2003
  • Keck Distinguished Young Scholar Award, 2000-2005
  • McKnight Scholar in Neurosciences Award, 2000-2003

Key Publications

Recent Publications

  1. A Requirement for Mena, an Actin Regulator, in Local mRNA Translation in Developing Neurons. Vidaki, M, Drees, F, Saxena, T, Lanslots, E, Taliaferro, MJ, Tatarakis, A, Burge, CB, Wang, ET, Gertler, FB. 2017. Neuron 95, 608-622.e5.
    doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.06.048PMID: 28735747
  2. MENA Confers Resistance to Paclitaxel in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Oudin, MJ, Barbier, L, Schäfer, C, Kosciuk, T, Miller, MA, Han, S, Jonas, O, Lauffenburger, DA, Gertler, FB. 2017. Mol. Cancer Ther. 16, 143-155.
    doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-16-0413PMID: 27811011
  3. The alternatively-included 11a sequence modifies the effects of Mena on actin cytoskeletal organization and cell behavior. Balsamo, M, Mondal, C, Carmona, G, McClain, LM, Riquelme, DN, Tadros, J, Ma, D, Vasile, E, Condeelis, JS, Lauffenburger, DA et al.. 2016. Sci Rep 6, 35298.
    doi: 10.1038/srep35298PMID: 27748415
  4. MenaINV mediates synergistic cross-talk between signaling pathways driving chemotaxis and haptotaxis. Oudin, MJ, Miller, MA, Klazen, JA, Kosciuk, T, Lussiez, A, Hughes, SK, Tadros, J, Bear, JE, Lauffenburger, DA, Gertler, FB. 2016. Mol. Biol. Cell 27, 3085-3094.
    doi: 10.1091/mbc.E16-04-0212PMID: 27559126
  5. A requirement for filopodia extension toward Slit during Robo-mediated axon repulsion. McConnell, RE, Edward van Veen, J, Vidaki, M, Kwiatkowski, AV, Meyer, AS, Gertler, FB. 2016. J. Cell Biol. 213, 261-74.
    doi: 10.1083/jcb.201509062PMID: 27091449
  6. Lamellipodin promotes invasive 3D cancer cell migration via regulated interactions with Ena/VASP and SCAR/WAVE. Carmona, G, Perera, U, Gillett, C, Naba, A, Law, AL, Sharma, VP, Wang, J, Wyckoff, J, Balsamo, M, Mosis, F et al.. 2016. Oncogene 35, 5155-69.
    doi: 10.1038/onc.2016.47PMID: 26996666
  7. PTP1B-dependent regulation of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling by the actin-binding protein Mena. Hughes, SK, Oudin, MJ, Tadros, J, Neil, J, Del Rosario, A, Joughin, BA, Ritsma, L, Wyckoff, J, Vasile, E, Eddy, R et al.. 2015. Mol. Biol. Cell 26, 3867-78.
    doi: 10.1091/mbc.E15-06-0442PMID: 26337385
  8. Selectivity in subunit composition of Ena/VASP tetramers. Riquelme, DN, Meyer, AS, Barzik, M, Keating, A, Gertler, FB. 2015. Biosci. Rep. 35, .
    doi: 10.1042/BSR20150149PMID: 26221026
  9. Ena/VASP regulates mDia2-initiated filopodial length, dynamics, and function. Barzik, M, McClain, LM, Gupton, SL, Gertler, FB. 2014. Mol. Biol. Cell 25, 2604-19.
    doi: 10.1091/mbc.E14-02-0712PMID: 24989797
  10. Mena binds α5 integrin directly and modulates α5β1 function. Gupton, SL, Riquelme, D, Hughes-Alford, SK, Tadros, J, Rudina, SS, Hynes, RO, Lauffenburger, D, Gertler, FB. 2012. J. Cell Biol. 198, 657-76.
    doi: 10.1083/jcb.201202079PMID: 22908313
More Publications


Photo credit: Samara Vise