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Eric A. Vitriol, Ph.D.

Eric A. Vitriol, Ph.DAssistant Professor

Office: BSB B1-007
Phone: (352) 273-9214
Fax: (352) 846-1248

Curriculum Vitae

Vitriol Lab link

Education and Training

Ph.D. – Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2009)
B.S. – Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2002)

Postdoctoral Training

Research Associate – Emory University (2009-2014)

Research Interests

Cells can move or change their shape in part because of a protein called actin, which assembles into organized networks of filaments. Actin networks are dynamic in nature and can be remodeled to change their architecture, allowing the cell to rapidly respond to environmental cues or migrate through complex three-dimensional environments. Actin plays a crucial role in a number of cellular processes, from wound healing to the precise wiring of the neuronal circuitry. The Vitriol lab studies the dynamic regulation of actin during cell motility, neural development, and in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Our approach is largely based on live-cell microscopy and quantitative imaging techniques and we perform these experiments in tissue culture cells, primary motor neurons, and neuromuscular explant cultures. Our goals are to integrate imaging-based cell biology with translational science so that we can both precisely determine how actin networks are assembled and understand how defects in the dynamic regulation of actin contribute to human disease.

Research Projects

R00 NS087104 (NIH/NINDS) Vitriol (PI) 04/15/2015-03/31/2018
Novel mechanisms of actin dynamics underlying cell motility, axon growth, and ALS
The goal of this study is to determine the role that targeting and regulated polymerization of actin monomers plays in cell motility, development and maintenance of the neuromuscular junction, and in ALS pathogenesis.


Kapustina M, Read TA, Vitriol EA (2016) Simultaneous quantification of actin monomer and filament dynamics with modeling-assisted analysis of photoactivation. J Cell Sci 2016 129: 4633-4643; doi: 10.1242/jcs.194670

Vitriol EA*, McMillen LM, Kapustina M, Gomez SM, Vavylonis D, Zheng JQ (2014) Two Functionally Distinct Sources of G-actin Supply the Leading Edge of Lamellipodia. Cell Reports, in press.(*Corresponding Author) Cell Reports, 11(3): 433-445. | Pubmed

Tsygankov D, Bilancia CG, Vitriol EA, Hahn KM, Peifer M, Elston TC (2013) CellGeo: a Computational Platform for the Analysis of Shape Changes in Cells with Complex Geometries. Journal of Cell Biology, 204(3): 443-460

Vitriol EA, Wise AL, Berginski ME, Bamburg JR, Zheng JQ (2013) Instantaneous Inactivation of Cofilin Reveals Its Function of F-actin Disassembly in Lamellipodia. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 24(14): 2238-47. | PubMed

Lee CW*, Vitriol EA*, Shim S, Wise AL, Velayutham RP, Zheng JQ (2013) Dynamic Localization of G-actin During Membrane Protrusion in Neuronal Motility.(*Co-first author) Current Biology, 23(12): 1046-56. | PubMed

Vitriol EA and Zheng JQ (2012) Growth Cone Travel in Space and Time: The Cellular Ensemble of Cytoskeleton, Adhesion, and Membrane. Neuron, 73(6): 1068-1081. | PubMed/p>

Fan Y, Tang X, Vitriol E, Chen G, Zheng JQ (2011) Actin Capping Protein Is Required for Dendritic Spine Development and Synapse Formation. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(28): 10228-10233. | PubMed

Berginski M*, Vitriol EA*, Hahn KM, Gomez SM (2011) High-Resolution Quantification of Focal Adhesion Spatiotemporal Dynamics in Living Cells.(*Co-first author) PLoS One, 6(7): e22025. | PubMed

Gulyani A*, Vitriol E*, Allen R, Wu J, Gremyachinskiy D, Lewis S, Dewar B, Graves LM, Kay BK, Kuhlman B, Elston T, Hahn KM (2011) A Biosensor Generated via High-throughput Screening Quantifies Cell Edge Src Dynamics.(*Co-first author) Nature Chemical Biology, 7(7): 437-44. | PubMed

Kapustina M, Vitriol E, Elston T, Loewe LM, Jacobson K (2010) Modeling Capping Protein FRAP and CALI experiments reveals in vivo regulation of actin dynamics. Cytoskeleton, 67(8): 519-534. | PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full list of publications

Major Teaching Responsibilities

GMS 6001 – Fundamentals of Biomedical Science I
GMS 6690 – Molecular Cell Biology Journal Club