BBS Faculty Member - Tomas Kirschhausen

Tomas Kirchhausen

Department of Cell Biology

Harvard Medical School
Warren Alpert Building - 133
200 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-713-8888
Fax: 617-713-8898
Lab Members: 8 postdoctoral fellows, 2 graduate students

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.

Last Update: 7/22/2015


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Ehrlich, M., Boll, W., Van Oijen, A., Hariharan, R., Chandran, K., Nibert, M. L., and Kirchhausen, T. (2004). Endocytosis by random initiation and stabilization of clathrin-coated pits. Cell 118, 591-605.

Fotin, A., Cheng, Y., Grigorieff, N., Walz, T., Harrison, S. C., and Kirchhausen, T. (2004). Structure of an auxilin-bound clathrin coat and its implications for the mechanism of uncoating. Nature 432, 649-653.

Macia, E., Ehrlich, M., Massol, R., Boucrot, E., Brunner, C., and Kirchhausen, T. (2006). Dynasore, a cell permeable inhibitor of dynamin. Developmental Cell (in press).

Pelish, H. E., Peterson, J. R., Salvarezza, S. B., Rodriguez-Boulan, E., Chen, J. L., Stamnes, M., Macia, E., Feng, Y., Shair, M. D., and Kirchhausen, T. (2006). Secramine inhibits Cdc42-dependent functions in cells and Cdc42 activation in vitro. Nat Chem Biol 2, 39-46.

© 2015 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College