Concordia University

Alisa Piekny, PhD

Associate Professor, Biology
co-Director, Centre for Microscopy at Concordia

Office: L-SP 437-15 
Richard J. Renaud Science Complex,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 3428
Website(s): Visit our lab site


PhD (University of Calgary)

Research interests

The aim of my research is to gain a stronger understanding of how the cytoskeleton is regulated during dynamic events such as cytokinesis and cell shape change (morphogenesis). This includes an in depth molecular analysis of anillin, a conserved actin and myosin binding protein that is a key component of the contractile ring required for cytokinesis. A future goal will be the identification of novel regulators of actin-myosin assembly and contraction in nonmuscle cells. This work is being done on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and in mammalian cells.

Teaching activities

Cell Physiology
Advanced Cell Biology

Selected publications

Wernike, D., Chen, Y., Mastronardi, K., Makil, N., Piekny, A. (2016) Mechanical forces drive neuroblast morphogenesis and are required for epidermal enclosure. Developmental Biology. 412: 261-277.

van Oostende Triplet, C., Jaramillo Garcia, M., Haji Bik, H., Beaudet, D., Piekny, A. (2014) Anillin interacts with microtubules and is part of the astral pathway that defines cortical domains. Journal of Cell Science. 127: 3699-3710.

Wernike, D., van Oostende, C., Piekny, A. (2014) Visualizing neuroblast cytokinesis during C. elegans embryogenesis. Journal of Visualized Experiments. doi: 10.3791/51188.

Akhshi, T.K., Wernike, D., Piekny, A. (2014) Microtubules and actin crosstalk in cell migration and division. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 71:1-23.

Fotopoulos, N., Wernike, D., Chen, Y., Makil, N., Marte, A., Piekny, A. (2013) Caenorhabditis elegans anillin (ani-1) regulates neuroblast cytokinesis and epidermal morphogenesis during embryonic development. Developmental Biology. 383:61-74.

Zanin, E., Desai, A., Poser, I., Toyoda, Y., Andree, C., Moebius, C., Bickle, M., Conradt, B., Piekny, A., Oegema, K. (2013) A conserved RhoGAP limits M phase contractility and coordinates with microtubule asters to confine RhoA during cytokinesis. Developmental Cell. 26:496-510.

Frenette, P., Haines, E., Loloyan, M., Kinal, M., Pakarian, P., Piekny, A. (2012) An anillin-Ect2 complex stabilizes central spindle microtubules at the cortex during cytokinesis. PLoS One. 7:e34888.

Tse, Y.C., Piekny, A., Glotzer, M. (2011) Anillin promotes astral microtubule-directed cortical myosin polarization. Mol Biol Cell 22:3165-3175.

Piekny, A.J., Maddox, A.S. (2010) The myriad roles of anillin during cytokinesis. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. 21:881-891.

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