Eric A. Vitriol, Ph.D.

Eric A. Vitriol, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Office: BMS J395
Phone: (352) 273-9214

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.


Osking Z, Ayers JI, Hildebrandt R, Skruber K, Brown H, Ryu D, Eukovich AR, Golde TE, Borchelt DR, Read TA, Vitriol EA. (2019) ALS-Linked SOD1 Mutants Enhance Neurite Outgrowth and Branching in Adult Motor Neurons. iScience. 2019 Jan 25;11:294-304. | Pubmed

Skruber K, Read TA, Vitriol EA (2018) Reconsidering an active role for G-actin in cytoskeletal regulation. J Cell Sci 2018 131: jcs203760 | Pubmed

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 (2015) Two Functionally Distinct Sources of G-actin Supply the Leading Edge of Lamellipodia. (*Corresponding Author) Cell Reports, 11(3): 433-445. | Pubmed

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

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