Alexander Bershadsky2019-03-14T14:14:38+08:00


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

More twists to the tale: Varied actin patterns in epithelial cells

A recent study led by MBI graduate student Salma Jalal and Senior Research Fellow Tee Yee Han reveals differences in actin organization patterns observed in fibroblasts and epithelial cell subtypes.

By |Jul 31st, 2019|Categories: Bershadsky Lab, Featured Research, Jalal S Research, Science Features, Tee YH Research|Comments Off on More twists to the tale: Varied actin patterns in epithelial cells

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. Rafiq NBM, Grenci G, Lim CK, Kozlov MM, Jones GE, Viasnoff V, and Bershadsky AD. Forces and constraints controlling podosome assembly and disassembly. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. 2019; 374(1779):20180228. [PMID: 31431172]
  2. Dasbiswas K, Hu S, Bershadsky AD, and Safran SA. Registry Kinetics of Myosin Motor Stacks Driven by Mechanical Force-Induced Actin Turnover. Biophys. J. 2019;. [PMID: 31427069]
  3. Alieva NO, Efremov AK, Hu S, Oh D, Chen Z, Natarajan M, Ong HT, Jégou A, Romet-Lemonne G, Groves JT, Sheetz MP, Yan J, and Bershadsky AD. Myosin IIA and formin dependent mechanosensitivity of filopodia adhesion. Nat Commun 2019; 10(1):3593. [PMID: 31399564]
  4. Hu S, Grobe H, Guo Z, Wang Y, Doss BL, Pan M, Ladoux B, Bershadsky AD, and Zaidel-Bar R. Reciprocal regulation of actomyosin organization and contractility in non-muscle cells by tropomyosins and alpha-actinins. Mol. Biol. Cell 2019;:mbcE19020082. [PMID: 31216217]
  5. .
  6. Rafiq NBM, Nishimura Y, Plotnikov SV, Thiagarajan V, Zhang Z, Shi S, Natarajan M, Viasnoff V, Kanchanawong P, Jones GE, and Bershadsky AD. A mechano-signalling network linking microtubules, myosin IIA filaments and integrin-based adhesions. Nat Mater 2019; 18(6):638-649. [PMID: 31114072]
  7. Jalal S, Shi S, Acharya V, Huang RY, Viasnoff V, Bershadsky A, and Tee YH. Actin cytoskeleton self-organization in single epithelial cells and fibroblasts under isotropic confinement. J. Cell. Sci. 2019;. [PMID: 30787030]
  8. Dasbiswas K, Hu S, Schnorrer F, Safran SA, and Bershadsky AD. Ordering of myosin II filaments driven by mechanical forces: experiments and theory. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. 2018; 373(1747). [PMID: 29632266]
  9. 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]
  10. 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]

Lab Members

Tee Yee Han

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

Senior Research Fellow, Bershadsky Group

About the National University of Singapore

About NUSA leading global university centred in Asia, NUS is Singapore's flagship university, offering a global approach to education and research with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

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.