Buzz Baum Research Group

1989 , Biochemistry, 1st Class Hons, St Catherine's College, Oxford
1993, PhD, UCL
Buzz Baum
Tel: 020 7679 3040
Fax: 020 7679 7805
2004 EMBO Young Investigator Award
2005 Royal Society URF Merit Award
2007 UCL Wellcome VIP fund
2008 Cancer Research UK Senior Fellowship
2013 EMBO Member
Previous Posts: 
1997 - EMBO Fellow with Norbert Perrimon, Harvard Medical School
1998 - HFSP Fellow with Norbert Perrimon, Harvard Medical School
2000 - HHMI Fellow with Norbert Perrimon, Harvard Medical School
2001- Royal Society URF at UCL and Group Leader at the UCL branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
2007 - Group Leader, MRC Laboratory for Cell Biology, Cell Biology Unit,and the Department of Anatomy, UCL

Current research - outline

The dynamic shape of an animal cell is determined by the interplay of intra- and extracellular forces. In the lab we explore the molecular, cellular and physical processes involved using interdisciplinary approaches including molecular biology, genetics, high-content RNA interference (RNAi)
screening, live cell imaging, automated image analysis, microfabrication,
biophysical techniques and computational modeling. The aim of our research is to better
understand how these processes contribute to normal tissue development and homeostasis and, when they go awry, to the evolution of metastatic cancer. 

Cancer and the importance of mitotic cell rounding

Cancer is a disease in which individual clones of mutant cells expand without control even when spread far from their tissue of origin. This is made possible by mutations acquired by cancer cells during tumour evolution that break their normal dependency on the local cues which usually function to ensure that the behaviour of each cell is finely tuned to the requirements of its host tissue. As a result, while normal cells only divide to maintain tissue homeostasis, during tumour evolution cancer cells acquire a novel ability to divide under a range of conditions: in the face of compressive forces in a growing tumour and, to establish metastases, in new, poorly structured environments.

By studying mitotic rounding and cell division in different contexts, a major goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that make cancer cells both blind and resilient in the face of a changing environment. Mechanics plays a key role in this process, since the act of cell division is involves a series of dramatic actomyosin-dependent changes in cell shape and size. These begin at the very start of mitosis as cells stop moving, de-adhere from the substrate and round up to form rigid swollen spheres that provide a safe space in which to construct and orient their bipolar spindles. Then, once anaphase is triggered, cells elongate through polar relaxation as chromosomes move apart, before dividing into two as they exit mitosis.

Ultimately, by characterizing the genes and the biochemical, physical and geometrical constraints affecting mitotic progression in both normal and cancer cells, including CTCs isolated from patients, we hope to identify novel diagnostic and prognostic markers of cancer progression, and to identify strategies by which to selectively kill dividing metastatic cancer cells.

Tissue development and refinement

Genetically identical twins look remarkably similar. How the genome guides cell behavior during development to ensure this remains poorly understood. To get at this process we are trying to understand how actin-dependent changes in the shape of individual epithelial cells give rise to a well-ordered tissue during the completion of the development of the dorsal thorax of the fruit fly - a process we like to call tissue refinement. In recent work, using a combination of live cell imaging, genetics and computational modeling, we have used this approach to demonstrate a role for basal filopodia in tissue patterning and for cell delamination in the refinement of cell packing.



We are currently recruiting post-docs to study the biophysics of cell division and cancer cell division. If you are interested, please contact us.

Lab Members: 
Gautam Dey
Andrea Dimitracopoulos
Christina Dix
Sushila Ganguli
Jaunma Garcia
Ginger Hunter
Nargess Khalilgharibi
Helen Matthews
Nunu Mchedlishvili
Katarzyna Plak
Nitya Ramkumar
Charlotte strandkvist
Jump to: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 1998 | 1997
Number of items: 82.


Baum, D; Baum, B; (2015) The world in a cell. NEW SCIENTIST , 225 (3008) 28 - 29.

Mao, Y; Baum, B; (2015) Tug of war-The influence of opposing physical forces on epithelial cell morphology. Dev Biol , 401 (1) 92 - 102. 10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.12.030.

Rosa, A; Vlassaks, E; Pichaud, F; Baum, B; (2015) Ect2/Pbl Acts via Rho and Polarity Proteins to Direct the Assembly of an Isotropic Actomyosin Cortex upon Mitotic Entry. Dev Cell , 32 (5) 604 - 616. 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.01.012. Green open access

Wyatt, TP; Harris, AR; Lam, M; Cheng, Q; Bellis, J; Dimitracopoulos, A; ... Baum, B; + view all (2015) Emergence of homeostatic epithelial packing and stress dissipation through divisions oriented along the long cell axis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 10.1073/pnas.1420585112.


Baum, DA; Baum, B; (2014) An inside-out origin for the eukaryotic cell. BMC Biol , 12 76 - ?. 10.1186/s12915-014-0076-2. Gold open access

Lancaster, OM; Baum, B; (2014) Shaping up to divide: coordinating actin and microtubule cytoskeletal remodelling during mitosis. Semin Cell Dev Biol , 34 109 - 115. 10.1016/j.semcdb.2014.02.015.

Picone, R; Baum, B; McKendry, R; (2014) Plasma microcontact patterning (PμCP): a technique for the precise control of surface patterning at small-scale. Methods Cell Biol , 119 73 - 90. 10.1016/B978-0-12-416742-1.00005-6.

Protonotarios, ED; Baum, B; Johnston, A; Hunter, GL; Griffin, LD; (2014) An absolute interval scale of order for point patterns. J R Soc Interface , 11 (99) 10.1098/rsif.2014.0342.

Rohn, JL; Patel, JV; Neumann, B; Bulkescher, J; Mchedlishvili, N; McMullan, RC; ... Baum, B; + view all (2014) Myo19 ensures symmetric partitioning of mitochondria and coupling of mitochondrial segregation to cell division. Curr Biol , 24 (21) 2598 - 2605. 10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.045.

Sedwick, C; (2014) Buzz Baum: The art of cell shape. The Journal of Cell Biology , 206 (3) 332 - 333. 10.1083/jcb.2063pi.

Strandkvist, C; Juul, J; Baum, B; Kabla, AJ; Duke, T; (2014) A kinetic mechanism for cell sorting based on local variations in cell motility. Interface Focus , 4 (6) 20140013 - ?. 10.1098/rsfs.2014.0013.


Araujo, A; Baum, B; Bentley, P; (2013) The role of chromosome missegregation in cancer development: a theoretical approach using agent-based modelling. PLoS One , 8 (8) , Article e72206 . 10.1371/journal.pone.0072206. Green open access

Csikász-Nagy, A; Escudero, LM; Guillaud, M; Sedwards, S; Baum, B; Cavaliere, M; (2013) Cooperation and competition in the dynamics of tissue architecture during homeostasis and tumorigenesis. Semin Cancer Biol , 23 (4) 293 - 298. 10.1016/j.semcancer.2013.05.009.

Harris, AR; Bellis, J; Khalilgharibi, N; Wyatt, T; Baum, B; Kabla, AJ; Charras, GT; (2013) Generating suspended cell monolayers for mechanobiological studies. Nat Protoc , 8 (12) 2516 - 2530. 10.1038/nprot.2013.151.

Lancaster, OM; Le Berre, M; Dimitracopoulos, A; Bonazzi, D; Zlotek-Zlotkiewicz, E; Picone, R; ... Baum, B; + view all (2013) Mitotic Rounding Alters Cell Geometry to Ensure Efficient Bipolar Spindle Formation. Developmental Cell , 25 (3) pp. 270-283. 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.03.014. Green open access


Block, J; Breitsprecher, D; Kühn, S; Winterhoff, M; Kage, F; Geffers, R; ... Rottner, K; + view all (2012) FMNL2 drives actin-based protrusion and migration downstream of Cdc42. Curr Biol , 22 (11) 1005 - 1012. 10.1016/j.cub.2012.03.064. Green open access

Conte, V; Ulrich, F; Baum, B; Muñoz, J; Veldhuis, J; Brodland, W; Miodownik, M; (2012) A biomechanical analysis of ventral furrow formation in the Drosophila melanogaster embryo. PLoS One , 7 (4) , Article e34473 . 10.1371/journal.pone.0034473. Green open access

Davidson, LA; Baum, B; (2012) Making waves: the rise and fall and rise of quantitative developmental biology. Development , 139 (17) 3065 - 3069. 10.1242/dev.080093.

Harris, AR; Peter, L; Bellis, J; Baum, B; Kabla, AJ; Charras, GT; (2012) Characterizing the mechanics of cultured cell monolayers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A , 109 (41) 16449 - 16454. 10.1073/pnas.1213301109. Gold open access

Kunda, P; Rodrigues, NT; Moeendarbary, E; Liu, T; Ivetic, A; Charras, G; Baum, B; (2012) PP1-mediated moesin dephosphorylation couples polar relaxation to mitotic exit. Current Biology , 22 (3) 231 - 236. 10.1016/j.cub.2011.12.016. Green open access

Marinari, E; Mehonic, A; Curran, S; Gale, J; Duke, T; Baum, B; (2012) Live-cell delamination counterbalances epithelial growth to limit tissue overcrowding. Nature , 484 (7395) 542 - 545. 10.1038/nature10984.

Matthews, HK; Baum, B; (2012) The metastatic cancer cell cortex: an adaptation to enhance robust cell division in novel environments? Bioessays , 34 (12) 1017 - 1020. 10.1002/bies.201200109.

Matthews, HK; Delabre, U; Rohn, JL; Guck, J; Kunda, P; Baum, B; (2012) Changes in Ect2 localization couple actomyosin-dependent cell shape changes to mitotic progression. Dev Cell , 23 (2) 371 - 383. 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.06.003.


Bai, SW; Herrera-Abreu, MT; Rohn, JL; Racine, V; Tajadura, V; Suryavanshi, N; ... Ridley, AJ; + view all (2011) Identification and characterization of a set of conserved and new regulators of cytoskeletal organization, cell morphology and migration. BMC BIOL , 9 , Article 54. 10.1186/1741-7007-9-54. Gold open access

Baum, B; (2011) FINDING GOLD IN YELLOWING PAPERS. NAT REV MOL CELL BIO , 12 (4) ? - ?. 10.1038/nrm3092.

Baum, B; Georgiou, M; (2011) Dynamics of adherens junctions in epithelial establishment, maintenance, and remodeling. J CELL BIOL , 192 (6) 907 - 917. 10.1083/jcb.201009141. Gold open access

Cohen, M; Baum, B; Miodownik, M; (2011) The importance of structured noise in the generation of self-organizing tissue patterns through contact-mediated cell-cell signalling. J R SOC INTERFACE , 8 (59) 787 - 798. 10.1098/rsif.2010.0488.

Cohen, M; Baum, B; Miodownik, M; (2011) The importance of structured noise in the generation of self-organizing tissue patterns through contact-mediated cell–cell signalling. J R Soc Interface , 8 (59) 787 - 798.

Gautier, JJ; Lomakina, ME; Bouslama-Oueghlani, L; Derivery, E; Beilinson, H; Faigle, W; ... Gautreau, A; + view all (2011) Clathrin is required for Scar/Wave-mediated lamellipodium formation. J CELL SCI , 124 (20) 3414 - 3427. 10.1242/jcs.081083.

Lancaster, OM; Baum, B; (2011) Might makes right: Using force to align the mitotic spindle. NAT CELL BIOL , 13 (7) 736 - 738. 10.1038/ncb0711-736.

Rohn, JL; Sims, D; Liu, T; Fedorova, M; Schock, F; Dopie, J; ... Baum, B; + view all (2011) Comparative RNAi screening identifies a conserved core metazoan actinome by phenotype. J CELL BIOL , 194 (5) 789 - 805. 10.1083/jcb.201103168.


Araujo, A; Bentley, PJ; Baum, B; (2010) Modelling the Role of Chromosome Missegregation in Cancer Therapies. In: (Proceedings) 3rd Complex Systems Modelling and Simulation Workshop. MIT Press

Brodland, GW; Conte, V; Cranston, PG; Veldhuis, J; Narasimhan, S; Hutson, MS; ... Miodownik, M; + view all (2010) Video force microscopy reveals the mechanics of ventral furrow invagination in Drosophila. P NATL ACAD SCI USA , 107 (51) 22111 - 22116. 10.1073/pnas.1006591107.

Cohen, M; Georgiou, M; Stevenson, NL; Miodownik, M; Baum, B; (2010) Dynamic Filopodia Transmit Intermittent Delta-Notch Signaling to Drive Pattern Refinement during Lateral Inhibition. DEV CELL , 19 (1) 78 - 89. 10.1016/j.devcel.2010.06.006.

Cully, M; Genevet, A; Warne, P; Treins, C; Liu, T; Bastien, J; ... Downward, J; + view all (2010) A Role for p38 Stress-Activated Protein Kinase in Regulation of Cell Growth via TORC1. MOL CELL BIOL , 30 (2) 481 - 495. 10.1128/MCB.00688-09.

Georgiou, M; Baum, B; (2010) Polarity proteins and Rho GTPases cooperate to spatially organise epithelial actin-based protrusions. J CELL SCI , 123 (7) 1089 - 1098. 10.1242/jcs.060772.

King, JS; Veltman, DM; Georgiou, M; Baum, B; Insall, RH; (2010) SCAR/WAVE is activated at mitosis and drives myosin-independent cytokinesis. J CELL SCI , 123 (13) 2246 - 2255. 10.1242/jcs.063735.

Liu, T; Rohn, JL; Picone, R; Kunda, P; Baum, B; (2010) Tao-1 is a negative regulator of microtubule plus-end growth. J CELL SCI , 123 (16) 2708 - 2716. 10.1242/jcs.068726.

Picone, R; Ren, XY; Ivanovitch, KD; Clarke, JDW; McKendry, RA; Baum, B; (2010) A Polarised Population of Dynamic Microtubules Mediates Homeostatic Length Control in Animal Cells. PLOS BIOL , 8 (11) , Article e1000542. 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000542. Green open access

Rohn, JL; Baum, B; (2010) Actin and cellular architecture at a glance. J CELL SCI , 123 (2) 155 - 158. 10.1242/jcs.049759.

Sims, D; Bursteinas, B; Jain, E; Gao, QO; Baum, B; Zvelebil, M; (2010) The FLIGHT Drosophila RNAi database 2010 update. FLY , 4 (4) 344 - 348. 10.4161/fly.4.4.13303.


Aghajanian, J; Warrell, J; Prince, SJD; Li, P; Rohn, JL; Baum, B; (2009) Patch-based Within-Object Classification. In: 2009 IEEE 12TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON COMPUTER VISION (ICCV). (pp. 1125 - 1132). IEEE

Asano, Y; Jimenez-Dalmaroni, A; Liverpool, TB; Marchetti, MC; Giomi, L; Kiger, A; ... Baum, B; + view all (2009) Pak3 inhibits local actin filament formation to regulate global cell polarity. HFSP J , 3 (3) 194 - 203. 10.2976/1.3100548.

Conte, V; Munoz, JJ; Baum, B; Miodownik, M; (2009) Robust mechanisms of ventral furrow invagination require the combination of cellular shape changes. PHYS BIOL , 6 (1) , Article 016010. 10.1088/1478-3975/6/1/016010.

Kunda, P; Baum, B; (2009) The actin cytoskeleton in spindle assembly and positioning. TRENDS CELL BIOL , 19 (4) 174 - 179. 10.1016/j.tcb.2009.01.006.

Liu, T; Sims, D; Baum, B; (2009) Parallel RNAi screens across different cell lines identify generic and cell type-specific regulators of actin organization and cell morphology. GENOME BIOL , 10 (3) , Article R26. 10.1186/gb-2009-10-3-r26.

Sims, D; Duchek, P; Baum, B; (2009) PDGF/VEGF signaling controls cell size in Drosophila. GENOME BIOL , 10 (2) , Article R20. 10.1186/gb-2009-10-2-r20.


Basanta, D; Miodownik, M; Baum, B; (2008) The evolution of robust development and homeostasis in artificial organisms. PLoS Computational Biology , 4 (3) , Article e1000030. 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000030. Green open access

Baum, B; Cherbas, L; (2008) Drosophila cell lines as model systems and as an experimental tool. Methods Mol Biol , 420 391 - 424. 10.1007/978-1-59745-583-1_25.

Baum, B; Settleman, J; Quinlan, MP; (2008) Transitions between epithelial and mesenchymal states in development and disease. SEMIN CELL DEV BIOL , 19 (3) 294 - 308. 10.1016/j.semcdb.2008.02.001.

Dobbelaere, J; Josue, F; Suijkerbuijk, S; Baum, B; Tapon, N; Raff, J; (2008) A genome-wide RNAi screen to dissect centriole duplication and centrosome maturation in Drosophila. PLOS BIOL , 6 (9) , Article e224. 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060224. Green open access

Georgiou, M; Marinari, E; Burden, J; Baum, B; (2008) Cdc42, Par6, and aPKC Regulate Arp2/3-Mediated Endocytosis to Control Local Adherens Junction Stability. CURR BIOL , 18 (21) 1631 - 1638. 10.1016/j.cub.2008.09.029.

Kunda, P; Pelling, AE; Liu, T; Baum, B; (2008) Moesin controls cortical rigidity, cell rounding, and spindle morphogenesis during mitosis. CURR BIOL , 18 (2) 91 - 101. 10.1016/j.cub.2007.12.051.

Kunda, P; Rohn, JL; Baum, B; (2008) Cell shape: Taking the heat. CURR BIOL , 18 (11) R470 - R472. 10.1016/j.cub.2008.04.032.

Settleman, J; Baum, B; (2008) Cell shape and tissue morphogenesis. SEMIN CELL DEV BIOL , 19 (3) 213 - 214. 10.1016/j.semcdb.2008.02.002.


Jovceva, E; Larsen, MR; Waterfield, MD; Baum, B; Timms, JF; (2007) Dynamic cofilin phosphorylation in the control of lamellipodial actin homeostasis. J CELL SCI , 120 (11) 1888 - 1897. 10.1242/jcs.004366. Green open access

Zihni, C; Mitsopoulos, C; Tavares, IA; Baum, B; Ridley, AJ; Morris, JDH; (2007) Prostate-derived sterile 20-like kinase 1-alpha induces apoptosis - JNK- and caspase-dependent nuclear localization is a requirement for membrane blebbing. J BIOL CHEM , 282 (9) 6484 - 6493. 10.1074/jbc.M608336200. Gold open access


Baum, B; (2006) Left-right asymmetry: actin-myosin through the looking glass. Curr Biol , 16 (13) R502 - R504. 10.1016/j.cub.2006.06.011.

Echeverri, CJ; Beachy, PA; Baum, B; Boutros, M; Buchholz, F; Chanda, SK; ... Bernards, R; + view all (2006) Minimizing the risk of reporting false positives in large-scale RNAi screens. NAT METHODS , 3 (10) 777 - 779. 10.1038/nmeth1006-777.

Sims, D; Bursteinas, B; Gao, Q; Zvelebil, M; Baum, B; (2006) FLIGHT: database and tools for the integration and cross-correlation of large-scale RNAi phenotypic datasets. NUCLEIC ACIDS RES , 34 D479 - D483. 10.1093/nar/gkj038. Gold open access


Baum, B; Kunda, P; (2005) Actin nucleation: Spire - Actin nucleator in a class of its own. CURR BIOL , 15 (8) R305 - R308. 10.1016/j.cub.2005.04.004.


Baum, B; (2004) Animal development: Crowd control. CURR BIOL , 14 (17) R716 - R718.

Baum, B; (2004) Tissue morphogenesis: Crowd control. Current Biology , 14 (17) R716 - R718.

Baum, B; Craig, G; (2004) RNAi in a postmodern, postgenomic era. ONCOGENE , 23 (51) 8336 - 8339. 10.1038/sj.onc.1208009.

Baum, B; Kunda, P; Kiger, A; Perrimon, N; (2004) A genetic dissection of cell morphogenesis in Drosophila. CELL STRUCT FUNCT , 29 25 - 25. Gold open access

Biyasheva, A; Svitkina, T; Kunda, P; Baum, B; Borisy, G; (2004) Cascade pathway of filopodia formation downstream of SCAR. J CELL SCI , 117 (6) 837 - 848. 10.1242/jcs.00921.

Rosenblatt, J; Cramer, LP; Baum, B; McGee, KM; (2004) Myosin II-dependent cortical movement is required for centrosome separation and positioning during mitotic spindle assembly. In: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL. (pp. 378A - 378A). AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY

Rosenblatt, J; Cramer, LP; Baum, B; McGee, KM; (2004) Myosin II-dependent cortical movement is required for centrosome separation and positioning during mitotic spindle assembly. CELL , 117 (3) 361 - 372.


Jacinto, A; Baum, B; (2003) Actin in development. MECH DEVELOP , 120 (11) 1337 - 1349. 10.1016/j.mod.2003.06.006.

Kiger, A.A.; Baum, B.; Jones, S.; Jones, M.R.; Coulson, A.; Echeverri, C.; Perrimon, N.; (2003) A functional genomic analysis of cell morphology using RNA interference. Journal of Biology , 2 (4) p. 27. 10.1186/1475-4924-2-27. Green open access

Kiger, AA; Baum, B; Jones, S; Jones, MR; Coulson, A; Echeverri, C; Perrimon, N; (2003) A functional genomic analysis of cell morphology using RNA interference. J Biol , 2 (4) 27 - ?. 10.1186/1475-4924-2-27. Gold open access

Kunda, P; Craig, G; Dominguez, V; Baum, B; (2003) Abi, Sra1, and Kette control the stability and localization of SCAR/WAVE to regulate the formation of actin-based protrusions. Curr Biol , 13 (21) 1867 - 1875.


Baum, B; (2002) Drosophila oogenesis: generating an axis of polarity. Current Biology , 12 (24) 0 - 0.

Baum, B; (2002) Drosophila oogenesis: Generating an axis of polarity. CURR BIOL , 12 (24) R835 - R837.

Baum, B; (2002) Winging it - Actin on the fly. DEV CELL , 2 (2) 125 - 126.

Kiger, AA; Baum, B; Jones, S; Jones, M; Coulson, A; Echeverri, C; Perrimon, N; (2002) Functional genomic analysis of cell morphology using high-throughput RNAi screens. In: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL. (pp. 144A - 144A). AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY

Rosenblatt, J; Baum, B; Blyth, J; Cramer, LP; (2002) Myosin and actin are required for centrosome separation during prophase. In: MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL. (pp. 51A - 51A). AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY

Wills, Z; Emerson, M; Rusch, J; Bikoff, J; Baum, B; Perrimon, N; Van Vactor, D; (2002) A Drosophila homolog of cyclase-associated proteins collaborates with the Abl tyrosine kinase to control midline axon pathfinding. Neuron , 36 (4) 611 - 622.


Baum, B; Perrimon, N; (2001) Spatial control of the actin cytoskeleton in Drosophila epithelial cells. Nat Cell Biol , 3 (10) 883 - 890. 10.1038/ncb1001-883.


BAUM, B; Nishitani, H; Yanow, S; Nurse, P; (1998) Cdc18 transcription and proteolysis couple S phase to passage through mitosis. EMBO J. , 19 5689 - 5698.


BAUM, B; Wuarin, J; Nurse, P; (1997) Control of S-phase periodic transcription in the fission yeast mitotic cycle. EMBO J. , 15 4676 - 4688.

Ink, B; Zörnig, M; Baum, B; Hajibagheri, N; James, C; Chittenden, T; Evan, G; (1997) Human Bak induces cell death in <i>Schizosaccharomyces pombe </i>with morphological changes similar to those with apoptosis in mammalian cells. Molecular and Cellular Biology , 17 (5) 2468 - 2474.

This list was generated on Mon Jun 29 23:01:37 2015 BST.