William M Brieher

Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

Research Topics

Cell-Cell Interactions, Cytoskeleton


Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco
Postdoc. Harvard Medical School

Cytoskeleton and Cell Adhesion

Our lab is interested in understanding how cells organize an actin cytoskeleton. Current projects focus on how actin filaments are assembled at cell-cell adhesive junctions, how actin filaments disassemble, and how signals trigger actin assembly. We use a combination of biochemical, biophysical, and cell biological techniques to address these questions which are fundamental for understanding cell shape, cell motility, and morphogenesis. Some of our research provides insight into the molecular basis of inherited kidney disease.


LAS Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Representative Publications

Vivian W. Tang, Ambika V. Nadkarni, and William M. Brieher (2020). Catastrophic actin filament bursting by cofilin, Aip1, and coronin. J. Biol. Chem. ABSTRACT

Li JXH, Tang VW, Brieher WM. 2020. Actin protrusions push at apical junctions to maintain E-cadherin adhesion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 117:432-438. ABSTRACT

Wang Y and Brieher WM. 2020. CD2AP links actin to PI3 kinase activity to extend epithelial cell height and constrain cell area. J Cell Biol. pii: e201812087. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201812087. ABSTRACT

Kemp JP Jr and Brieher WM. 2018. The actin filament bundling protein alpha-actinin-4 actually suppresses actin stress fibers by permitting actin turnover. J Biol Chem. 293:14520-14533. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.004345.

Yu-Kemp HC, Kemp JP Jr, Brieher WM. 2017. CRMP-1 enhances EVL-mediated actin elongation to build lamellipodia and the actin cortex. J Cell Biol. 2017 216:2463-2479. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201606084.

Yu-Kemp HC and Brieher WM. 2016. Collapsin Response Mediator Protein-1 Regulates Arp2/3-dependent Actin Assembly. J Biol Chem. 291:658-64. doi: 10.1074/jbc.C115.689265.

Complete Publications List