My laboratory studies how changes in cytoskeleton architecture impact cellular behaviors, tissue function, and organismal development.
Major research themes of my lab currently include the following:
• Intermediate filaments (IFs) as integrators of mechanical force and signal transduction
• Cell adhesion-dependent and force-mediated changes in cytoskeleton organization and crosstalk between cytoskeletal networks
• Collective behavioral outcomes of mechanical forces, including cell migration and polarity
My lab's major method of investigation depends on in vivo microscopy analyses of cytoskeletal networks using Xenopus laevis (frog) and Physarum polycephalum (slime mold) model organisms. Using these systems, we are able to visualize and probe cytoskeletal assemblies within the actual cellular and organismal context. We also are creative in our design of new approaches for the interrogation and analysis of historically difficult and complex cytoskeleton networks.
Some of the very best research in the fields of intermediate filament cytoskeleton and cell migration is being conducted in Europe. I hope through participation in EuroCellNet to create new collaborations, particularly with biochemists and ultrastructural microscopists who have a long history and bright future in making discoveries about the multimodal functionalities of intermediate filaments.
Sanghvi-Shah R, Haque A, Paranjpe S, Dobrowolski R, Weber GF. “A novel photoactivatable tool for intermediate filament disruption indicates a role for keratin filaments in early embryogenesis.” bioRxiv 484246; 2018 Nov 30. http://doi.org/10.1101/484246
Mariani RA, Paranjpe S, Dobrowolski R, Weber GF. “A role for 14-3-3 in recruitment of keratin filaments to mechanically sensitive cadherin junctions.” bioRxiv 349092; 2018 June 16. http://doi.org/10.1101/349092
Ray SK, Valentini G, Shah P, Haque A, Reid CR, Weber GF, Garnier S. “Information transfer during food choice by the slime mold Physarum polycephalum.” Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 7(67):1-11, 2019 March 19.
Sonavane PR, Wang C, Dzamba B, Weber GF, Periasamy A, DeSimone DW. “Mechanical and Signaling Roles for Keratin Intermediate Filaments in the Assembly and Morphogenesis of Mesendoderm Tissue at Gastrulation.” Development. 144(23):4363-4376, 2017 Dec 1.
Sanghvi-Shah R, Weber GF. “Intermediate Filaments at the Junction of Mechanotransduction, Migration and Development.” Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 5(81):1-19, 2017 Sept 14.
Weber GF, Bjerke MA, DeSimone DW. “A mechanoresponsive cadherin-keratin complex directs polarized protrusive behavior and collective cell migration.” Developmental Cell. 22(1):104-115, 2012 Jan 17.
25–30 May 2020, Spetses Island, Greece