Magdalena Bezanilla

Academic Appointments
  • Professor of Biological Sciences

  • Ernest Everett Just 1907 Professor

  • Professor in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program

My research aims to understand how molecules within cells encode geometric information imparted to the extracellular matrix that ultimately leads to cell shape determination. We are particularly interested in the role of regulators of the cytoskeleton and membrane trafficking. We use high-resolution live-cell imaging coupled with precise CRISPR-mediated genome editing to query the molecular connections between the actin and microtubules cytoskeletons and vesicle trafficking. As a model system, we study patterning of the extracellular matrix in plants, since plant cell shape, dictated by the wall, acts as a read out for normal function. Using the unusually rapid transgenic capabilities of moss, which my lab has helped to pioneer as a model system, we are uncovering the molecular mechanisms that pattern plant cells.


Life Sciences Center, Room 231
HB 6044


Biological Sciences


  • B.S., University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Selected Publications