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2015 Scientific Report

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Van Andel Research

Van Andel Research Institute | Scientific Report 2015 Arthur S. Alberts, Ph.D. Laboratory of Cell Structure and Signal Integration Dr. Alberts earned his degrees in biochemistry and cell biology (B.A., 1987) and in physiology and pharmacology (Ph.D., 1993) from the University of California, San Diego. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Richard Treisman’s laboratory from 1994 to 1997 at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK London Research Institute) as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Scholar. From 1998 to 1999 he was the Carol Franc Buck Fellow in Frank McCormick’s lab at the Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC San Francisco. Dr. Alberts joined VARI in January 2000; he was promoted in 2006 to Associate Professor and to Professor in 2009. Dr. Alberts also directs the Flow Cytometry core facility. From left: Alberts, Howard, Goosen, Turner Staff Student Visiting Scientist Susan Goosen, M.B.A. Andrew Howard, B.A. Heather Schumacher, B.S., MT(ASCP) Kristin Rybski Julie Davis Turner, Ph.D. 6

Alberts Research Interests • To gain a full understanding of how cells spatially and temporally organize the signaling networks required for cell growth control and differentiation. • To uncover how defects in cell structure and disruptions in signaling create vulnerabilities in the acquisition of cancer traits. In 2013 we focused our basic research on the intersection of Rho and Wnt signaling to the nucleus and the cytoskeletal remodeling apparatus. We focused our translational research on targeted therapies that reinforce and/or repair cell infrastructure. We are developing compounds called intramimics that activate the molecular machinery that builds the cell infrastructure in support of normal cell function and/or repairs cellular defects that trigger or support malignant progression. Our disease research relies upon genetic models of blood cancers that arise from cells of the bone marrow. We use these models to test ideas generated by our molecular studies and to inform the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Recent Publications Ercan-Sencicek, A. Gulhan, Samira Jambi, Daniel Franjic, Sayoko Nishimura, Mingfeng Li, Paul El-Fishawy, Thomas M. Morgan, Stephan J. Sanders, et al. In press. Homozygous loss of DIAPH1 is a novel cause of microcephaly in humans. European Journal of Human Genetics. Pan, Jiajia, Larissa Lordier, Deborah Meyran, Philippe Rameau, Yann Lecluse, Susan Kitchen-Goosen, Idinath Badirou, Hayat Mokrani, Shuh Narumiya, et al. In press. The formin DIAPH1 (mDia1) regulates megakaryocyte proplatelet formation by remodeling the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. Blood. Kher, Swapnil S., Amanda P. Struckhoff, Arthur S. Alberts, and Rebecca A. Worthylake. 2014. A novel role for p115RhoGEF in regulation of epithelial plasticity. PLoS One 9(1): e85409. Lash, Leanne L., Bradley J. Wallar, Julie D. Turner, Steven M. Vroegop, Robert E. Kilkuskie, Susan M. Kitchen-Goosen, H. Eric Xu, and Arthur S. Alberts. 2013. Small-molecule intramimics of formin auto-inhibition: a new strategy to target the cytoskeletal remodeling machinery in cancer cells. Cancer Research 73(22): 6793–6803. 7

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