Holly Goodson

Holly Goodson

Molecular and Cell Biology and Biophysics


Professor, University of Notre Dame
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame
Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Stanford University
A.B. in Molecular Biology, Princeton University

Selected Awards

Thomas P. Madden Award for Exceptional Teaching of First Year Students
Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Elected member, American Society for Cell Biology National Council
Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship
National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship

Research Interests

The Goodson laboratory uses multifaceted approaches including biochemistry, molecular biology, and computational biology to address cell biological questions. We focus on the microtubule cytoskeleton – the dynamic network of protein fibers that pulls the chromosomes apart at mitosis, acts as "railroad tracks" for intracellular transport, and organizes the cytoplasm. Questions that interest us include: how does this network assemble? What governs its dynamic turnover? How do other parts of the cell (organelles, chromosomes, the cell cortex) interact with microtubules? To answer these questions we use a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology, quantitative microscopy, and (in collaboration with applied mathematician Mark Alber) computational models of microtubule dynamics. Topics of particular interest include microtubule plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs), a network of diverse proteins that dynamically track growing microtubule plus ends, as well as the disease-associated proteins Tau (Alzheimer's) and stathmin (cancer).

A second long-term interest in the Goodson laboratory is molecular evolution. While establishing the history of protein families is an important goal in itself, our primary interest has been in using the history of a protein family to help understand how its members work now. We use nature’s mutagenesis (the set of related sequences present in the genome databases) and combine it with bioinformatics techniques such as homology modeling to perform structure/function analysis. Recently we have taken advantage of unique continuous culture systems developed for a biosensor project to begin a new project studying the process of evolution in vitro and in silico.

Recent Papers

  • Jonasson, E. M., Mauro, A. J., Li, C., Labuza, E. C., Mahserejian, S. M., Scripture, J. P., Gregoretti, I. V., Alber, M., Goodson, H. V. "Behaviors of individual microtubules and microtubule populations relative to critical concentrations: Dynamic instability occurs when critical concentrations are driven apart by nucleotide hydrolysis" 2020 Molecular Biology of the Cell, 31 (7), pp. 589-618. DOI:10.1091/MBC.E19-02-0101.
  • Patel, R. J.; Murray, K. S.; Martin, P. O.; Sinclair, M.; Scripture, J. P.; Goodson, H. V.; Mahserejian, S. M. "Using STADIA to quantify dynamic instability in microtubules" 2020 Methods in Cell Biology,  158, pp.117-143. DOI: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2020.03.002.
  • Mauro, A. J., Jonasson, E. M., Goodson, H. V. "Relationship between dynamic instability of individual microtubules and flux of subunits into and out of polymer" 2019 Cytoskeleton, DOI:10.1002/cm.21557.
  • Titus, M. A., Goodson, H. V. "Developing Evolutionary Cell Biology" 2018 Developmental Cell, 47 (4), pp. 395-396. DOI:10.1016/j.devcel.2018.11.006.
  • Goodson, H.V., Jonasson, E.M. "Microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins" 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 10 (6), a022608. DOI: 10.1101/cshperspect.a022608
  • Brawley, S.H., Blouin, N.A., Ficko-Blean, E., Wheeler, G.L., Lohr, M., Goodson, H.V., Jenkins, J.W., Blaby-Haas, C.E., Helliwell, K.E., Chan, C.X., Marriage, T.N., Bhattacharya, D., Klein, A.S., Badis, Y., Brodie, J., Cao, Y., Collén, J., Dittami, S.M., Gachon, C.M.M., Green, B.R., Karpowicz, S.J., Kim, J.W., Kudahl, U.J., Lin, S., Michel, G., Mittag, M., Olson, B.J.S.C., Pangilinan, J.L., Peng, Y., Qiu, H., Shu, S., Singer, J.T., Smith, A.G., Sprecher, B.N., Wagner, V., Wang, W., Wang, Z.-Y., Yan, J., Yarish, C., Zäuner-Riek, S., Zhuang, Y., Zou, Y., Lindquist, E.A., Grimwood, J., Barry, K.W., Rokhsar, D.S., Schmutz, J., Stiller, J.W., Grossman, A.R., Prochnik, S.E. "Insights into the red algae and eukaryotic evolution from the genome of Porphyra umbilicalis (Bangiophyceae, Rhodophyta)" 2017 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114 (31), pp. E6361-E6370. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1703088114

Contact Information

  • Professor
  • Office: 439 Stepan Chemistry Hall
  • Phone: 574-631-7744
  • Send an email

Primary Research Areas

Research Specialties