Skip to main content

Jakub Famulski


BSc. Honors Molecular Genetics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
PhD. Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA


My background and training has focused on the application of live cell microscopy to study cell biology within the context of development. My current research focuses on the use of zebrafish to analyze the mechanisms of epithelial sheet fusion during retinal development. I use the developing retina as a model for epithelial cell fusion and study the congenital retinal disorder coloboma. 

My research interests lie in understanding and observing dynamic morphogenetic processes occurring during vertebrate development. I focus on two general mechanisms known to occur throughout development and throughout the embryo: epithelial sheet fusion and mesenchymal cell migration. To study both of these events I have focused my research on examining retinal morphogenesis and periocular mesenchyme migration. To visualize these dynamic populations of cells I use the Danio rerio (zebrafish) model system. Zebrafish embryos are transparent and provide unparalleled in vivo tools for imaging single cells and populations within living tissues over time. In my lab we use cutting edge scanning confocal microscopy combined with novel molecular biology genome editing techniques to visualize individual cell populations during zebrafish retina morphogenesis. 

Ultimately we hope to use the zebrafish to model human disease, primarily focusing on blinding disorders colobomata and glaucoma. 

I am currently looking for graduate and undergraduate project students.

I am currently accepting applications for an NIH-Funded POSTDOCTORAL position.

Graduate Training

PDF. Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, PDF. Developmental Neurobiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA

Selected Publications:

1.     Vos LJ, Famulski JK, Chan GK.  How to build a centromere: from centromeric and pericentromeric chromatin to kinetochore assembly.  Biochem Cell Biol 84(4):619-630, 2006.

2.     Huang H., Feng J., Famulski J., Rattner J.B., Liu S.T., Kao G.D., Muschel R., Chan G.K.T., T.J. Yen. 2007. Tripin/hSgo2 recruits MCAK to the inner centromere to correct defective kinetochore attachments. J. Cell Biology 17:413-424.

3.     Famulski J.K., G.K. Chan. 2007. Aurora B kinase-dependent recruitment of hZW10 and hROD to tension-less kinetochores. Current Biology 17, 2143–2149.

4.     Famulski J.K., Vos L.J., Sun X.J. and G.K. Chan. 2008. Stable hZW10 residency at kinetochores, mediated through hZwint-1 interaction, is essential for mitotic checkpoint function. Journal of Cell Biology,180:507-520.

5.     Kim S., S.Y. Park, H. Yong, J.K. Famulski, S. Chae, J.-H. Lee, C.-M. Kang, H. Saya, G.K. Chan* and H. Cho*. 2008. HBV X protein targets hBubR1, which induces dysregulation of the mitotic checkpoint. *co-corresponding authors Oncogene, 27(24):3457-64.

6.     Famulski J.K, Trivedi N, Howell D, Yang Y, Tong Y, Gilbertson R, and D.J. Solecki. 2010. Siah regulation of Pard3 controls neuronal adhesion during germinal zone exit. Science 330(6012):1834-1838

7.     Famulski J.K., Vos L.J., Rattner J.B and G.K. Chan. 2011. Dynein/Dynactin-Mediated transport of kinetochore components off kinetochores and onto spindle poles induced by Nordihdroguaretic Acid. PLoS One 6(1):e:16494

8.     Vos L.J., Famulski J.K and G.K. Chan. 2011. hZwint-1 bridges the inner and outer kinetochore: Identification of the kinetochore localization domain and the hZw10 interaction domain. 15;436(1):157-68 Biochem J.

9.     Famulski J.K., D.J. Solecki. 2013. New spin on an old transition: epithelial parallels in neuronal adhesion control. 36(3):163-73. Trends in Neurosciences.

10.  Mika Asai-Coakwella, Lindsey Marchb, Xiao Hua Daia, Michele DuValb, Irma Lopezf, Curtis R. FrenchaJakub Famulskib, Elfride De Baereg, Peter J. Francish, Periasamy Sundaresani, Yves Sauvéa,c, Robert K. Koenekoopf, Fred B. Berryd,e, W Ted Allisonb,d, Andrew Waskiewiczb, Ordan J, Lehmanna,d†. 2013. Contribution of Growth Differentiation Factor 6 dependent cell survival to early onset retinal dystrophies.  1;22(7): 1432-42, Human Molecular Genetics.

11.  Pillay L., Fleisch V, Leighton P, Famulski J, Cheng C, March L, Ritzel G, Allison T, and A. Waskiewicz. Evaluating the mutagenic activity of targeted endonucleases containing a Sharkey FokI cleavage domain variant in zebrafish. 2013 Sep;10(3):353-64. Zebrafish

12.  Sameer D. Pant1, Lindsey D. March2, Curtis R. French1Jakub K. Famulski2, Ordan J. Lehmann1,3,Andrew J. Waskiewicz2†. Zebrafish Molecular mechanisms regulating ocular apoptosis in zebrafish gdf6a mutants. 2013. Aug 28;54(8):5871-9 Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.

13.  Holly B*, J.K. Famulski*, Widen SA* and A. Waskiewicz. 2014. Sfrp1a and Sfrp5 function as positive regulators of Wnt and BMP signaling during early retinal development. 2014, Jan 20. S0012-1606(14), Developmental Biology 

*co-first authors

Students interested in graduate studies should send their CV and a brief outline of interests to