Tomas Kirchhausen

Tomas Kirchhausen

Professor of Cell Biology, Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Springer Family Chair, Boston Children's Hospital
Tom Kirchhausen Photo
Our objective is to bridge the gap between molecules and cells, either as independent entities in culture, as components of organoids, or as components of living tissues.

Our research focuses on the processes that mediate and regulate the movement of membrane proteins throughout cells. In particular our studies have help define molecular mechanisms that underlie the cell's sorting machineries mediated by the clathrin pathway, the principal route responsible for receptor-mediated endocytosis and for secretion, a route critical for reuptake of membrane at synapses, and a mode of entry usurped by many viral and bacterial pathogens. These biological phenomena have importance for the understanding of such diseases as cancer, viral infection and pathogen invasion, Alzheimer's, as well as other neurological diseases. We also study how during cell division, cells control their size and organelle architecture.

Our work is characterized by use of emerging technologies -- from the early days of molecular cloning to contemporary live-cell imaging.  We use the tools of x-ray crystallography, electron cryomicroscopy, single-molecule biophysics and frontier optical-imaging modalities including lattice light sheet microscopy to examine cellular membrane remodeling processes.

Selected Publications:

Piccinotti, S., Kirchhausen, T. and Whelan, S. P. 2013. Uptake of rabies virus into epithelial cells by clathrin-mediated endocytosis depends upon actin. Journal of Virology. PMID: 23966407 PMCID: PMC3807345.

Kural, C., Akatay, A. A., Gaudin, R., Chen, B. C., Legant, W. R., Betzig, E. and Kirchhausen, T. 2015. Asymmetric formation of coated pits on dorsal and ventral surfaces at the leading edge of motile cells and on protrusions of immobile cells. Molecular Biology of the Cell 26(11):2044-53. PMID: 25851602  PMCID: PMC4472015.

Li, D., Shao, L., Chen, B. C., Zhang, X., Zhang, M., Moses, B., Milkie, D. E., Beach, J. R., Hammer, J. A., 3rd, Pasham, M., Kirchhausen, T., Baird, M. A., Davidson, M. W., Xu, P. and Betzig, E. 2015. ADVANCED IMAGING. Extended-resolution structured illumination imaging of endocytic and cytoskeletal dynamics. Science. 349. 6251. aab3500. PMID: 26315442 PMCID: PMC4659358.

Chou, Y. Y., Cuevas, C., Carocci, M., Stubbs, S. H., Ma, M., Cureton, D. K., Chao, L., Evesson, F., He, K., Yang, P. L., Whelan, S. P., Ross, S. R., Kirchhausen, T. and Gaudin, R. 2016. Identification and characterization of a novel broad spectrum virus entry inhibitor. Journal of Virology. PMID: 26912630 PMCID: PMC4836360.

Aguet, F., Upadhyayula, S., Gaudin, R., Chou, Y. Y., Cocucci, E., He, K., Chen, B. C., Mosaliganti, K., Pasham, M., Skillern, W., Legant, W. R., Liu, T. L., Findlay, G., Marino, E., Danuser, G., Megason, S., Betzig, E. and Kirchhausen, T. 2016. Membrane dynamics of dividing cells imaged by lattice light-sheet microscopy. Molecular Biology of the Cell. PMID: 27535432 PMCID: PMC5221578.

Contact Information

Harvard Medical School, Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine,
Warren Alpert Building, Room 133B
200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
p: 617 713-8888

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