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About the Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

About MBIOne of four Research Centres of Excellence at NUS, MBI is working to identify, measure and describe how the forces for motility and morphogenesis are expressed at the molecular, cellular and tissue level.
Alexander Bershadsky 2017-05-03T10:33:02+00:00


Professor and Principal Investigator, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

+65 6516 5839 ext 65839
Level 10 T-Lab
National University of Singapore
5A Engineering Drive 1
Singapore 117411

Laboratory website
Actin Biomechanics and Cell Dynamics Lab (ABCD)

Research Program
Leader, The Cell-Matrix and Cell-Cell Mechanotransduction Group

Professor, the Joseph Moss Chair of Biomedical Research, Molecular Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science

Recent Research

Microscopic Muscles

How non-muscle cells find the strength to move

By | Feb 21st, 2017|Categories: Bershadsky Lab, Featured Research, Guo Z Research, Hu S Research, Science Features, Tee YH Research, Thiagarajan V Research, Zaidel-Bar Lab|Comments Off on Microscopic Muscles

Alexander Bershadsky

Principal Investigator

Research Areas

The Bershadsky Lab studies how cells move, and the physical forces necessary for cells to attach themselves to the substrate and to one another. In exploring the points of contact, which act as mechanical “sensors” that provide the cell with information about its environment and determine its behaviour, they have learned that in cancer cells, the activity of these “sensors” is disrupted, which likely accounts for the cell’s difficulty in adhering to substrates and, consequently, their greater mobility.

Research Interests

Prof Bershadsky’s research interests include the mechanisms of cell motility and intracellular traffic, cytoskeleton dynamics, and the crosstalk between cytoskeleton and cell adhesion. The studies from Bershadsky’s laboratory were among the first in which the phenomenon of adhesion-dependent mechanosensitivity was discovered and demonstrated. These studies showed that focal adhesions function as miniature mechanosensors, because their assembly depends on the application of external or cell-generated pulling forces. The aim of the present studies is to clarify the mechanisms involved in the adhesion dependent mechanosensitivity. Other studies from Bershadsky’s lab address the functions of microtubules in the regulation of cell motility and adhesion. His sphere of interest includes the proteins formins as potent regulators of actin assembly and actin-microtubule crosstalk.


Prof Bershadsky graduated from Moscow State University, and received his Ph.D. at the Cancer Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Medical Science, under the guidance of Prof Juri Vasiliev. In 1988, together with Prof Vasiliev, he published a book entitled, Cytoskeleton (Plenum Press), which became known as the first textbook in this field of research. Prof Bershadsky moved to Israel in 1992, and since then has worked at the Weizmann Institute of Science, first as Scientist, and subsequently as Senior Scientist, Associate Professor, and Full Professor. He holds the Joseph Moss Professorial Chair in Biomedical Research (2001). Prof Bershadsky worked as a visiting professor at the Curie Institute in Paris in 2005, at the Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole, USA, in 2007, and at NUS, in 2008–2010. Since 2001, he is an Editorial Board Member of the international journal of “Cytoskeleton” (formerly “Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton”).


PhD Cancer Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Medical Science

Recent Publications

  1. Acharya BR, Wu SK, Lieu ZZ, Parton RG, Grill SW, Bershadsky AD, Gomez GA, and Yap AS. Mammalian Diaphanous 1 Mediates a Pathway for E-cadherin to Stabilize Epithelial Barriers through Junctional Contractility. Cell Rep 2017; 18(12):2854-2867. [PMID: 28329679]
  2. Hu S, Dasbiswas K, Guo Z, Tee Y, Thiagarajan V, Hersen P, Chew T, Safran SA, Zaidel-Bar R, and Bershadsky AD. Long-range self-organization of cytoskeletal myosin II filament stacks. Nat. Cell Biol. 2017;. [PMID: 28114270]
  3. . https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28007915
  4. Luo W, Lieu ZZ, Manser E, Bershadsky AD, and Sheetz MP. Formin DAAM1 Organizes Actin Filaments in the Cytoplasmic Nodal Actin Network. PLoS ONE 2016; 11(10):e0163915. [PMID: 27760153]
  5. Regev M, Sabanay H, Kartvelishvily E, Kam Z, and Bershadsky AD. Involvement of Rho GAP GRAF1 in maintenance of epithelial phenotype. Cell Adh Migr 2016;. [PMID: 27588930]
  6. Yang B, Lieu ZZ, Wolfenson H, Hameed FM, Bershadsky AD, and Sheetz MP. Mechanosensing Controlled Directly by Tyrosine Kinases. Nano Lett. 2016;. [PMID: 27559755]
  7. Shao X, Kawauchi K, Shivashankar GV, and Bershadsky AD. Novel localization of formin mDia2: importin β-mediated delivery to and retention at the cytoplasmic side of the nuclear envelope. Biol Open 2015; 4(11):1569-75. [PMID: 26519515]
  8. Shao X, Li Q, Mogilner A, Bershadsky AD, and Shivashankar GV. Mechanical stimulation induces formin-dependent assembly of a perinuclear actin rim. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015; 112(20):E2595-601. [PMID: 25941386]
  9. Tee YH, Shemesh T, Thiagarajan V, Hariadi RF, Anderson KL, Page C, Volkmann N, Hanein D, Sivaramakrishnan S, Kozlov MM, and Bershadsky AD. Cellular chirality arising from the self-organization of the actin cytoskeleton. Nat. Cell Biol. 2015; 17(4):445-57. [PMID: 25799062]
  10. Yu C, Rafiq NBM, Krishnasamy A, Hartman KL, Jones GE, Bershadsky AD, and Sheetz MP. Integrin-matrix clusters form podosome-like adhesions in the absence of traction forces. Cell Rep 2013; 5(5):1456-68. [PMID: 24290759]

Lab Members

Naila Alieva

Apr 11th, 2017|Comments Off on Naila Alieva

Facility Manager, Bershadsky Group

Tee Yee Han

Apr 10th, 2017|Comments Off on Tee Yee Han

Senior Research Fellow, Bershadsky Group

Thiagarajan Visalatchi

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Research Assistant, Bershadsky Group

Hu Shiqiong

Apr 10th, 2017|Comments Off on Hu Shiqiong

Research Fellow, Bershadsky Group

Natarajan Meenubharathi

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Research Assistant, Bershadsky Group

Nisha bte Mohd Rafiq

Apr 10th, 2017|Comments Off on Nisha bte Mohd Rafiq

Research Associate, Bershadsky Group

Salma Jalal

Apr 10th, 2017|Comments Off on Salma Jalal

PhD Student, Bershadsky Group, Viasnoff Group

Shi Shidong

Apr 10th, 2017|Comments Off on Shi Shidong

PhD Student, Bershadsky Group, Viasnoff Group

Yukako Nishimura

Apr 7th, 2017|Comments Off on Yukako Nishimura

Research Fellow, Bershadsky Group