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Senior Investigator

Herbert M. Geller, Ph.D.

Developmental Neurobiology Section

Building 10 Room 6D18
10 Center Drive MSC 1754 MSC1754
Bethesda MD 20892-1754
Office: (301) 451-9440

Fax: (301) 594-8133

Dr. Geller obtained his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the City College of New York, and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. After a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Rochester, Dr. Geller joined the Department of Pharmacology at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where he rose to the rank of Professor before coming to NIH in 2001 to join the NHLBI Division of Intramural Research as a Principal Investigator and Director of the Office of Education.

Current research in the Geller lab focuses on how extracellular signals control axonal growth and pathfinding.  One emphasis is on the role of the astrocyte extracellular matrix, especially ECM proteoglycans, in regulating axonal growth.  These studies combine neurobiology and glycobiology to reveal the structure/function relationships of proteoglycan glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains and their receptors.  Other areas include studies of the downstream signals triggered by proteoglycans.  Studies performed In collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Urbach at Georgetown University are investigating the role of mechanical forces in axonal outgrowth.  More detailed information is available at:

Staff Image
  • Chinyere Agbaegbu, RN, BSN, CCRP
    Graduate Student/IRTA Fellow

  • Eleni Degaga, Ph.D.
    Special Volunteer

  • Yasuhiro Katagiri
    Staff Scientist

  • Caitlin Mencio, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Craig Pearson, B.S.
    Graduate Student

  • 1) Yu, P., Agbaegbu, C., Malide, D., Wu, X., Katagiri, Y., Hammer, J.  A. and Geller, H. M (2015)
  • Cooperative interactions of LPPR/PRG family members in membrane localization and alteration of cellular morphology
  • J.  Cell Sci., 2015 Jul 16, pii: jcs.169789
  • 2) Smirnov, M. S., Cabral, K. A., Geller, H. M.* and Urbach, J. S.*  (2014)
  • The effects of confinement on neuronal growth cone morphology and velocity
  • Biomaterials, 35, 6750-7
  • 3) Susarla, B., Villapol, S., Yi, J. H., Geller, H. M., Symes, A. J. (2014)
  • Temporal patterns of cortical proliferation of glial cell populations after traumatic brain injury in mice
  • ASN Neuro, 6, 159-70
  • 4) Yu, Z.-H., Yu, P., Chen, H.-Z., Geller, H. M (2014)
  • Targeted inhibition of KCa3.1 attenuates TGF-β-induced reactive astrogliosis through the Smad2/3 signaling pathway
  • J. Neurochem, 130, 41-9
  • 5) Yi, J. H., Katagiri, Y., Yu, P., Lourie, J., Bangayan, N. J., Symes, A. J. and Geller, H. M. (2014)
  • Receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase σ binds to neurons in the adult mouse brain
  • Exptl. Neurol, 255, 12-18
  • 6) Yu, P., Pisitkun, T., Wang, G., Wang, R., Katagiri, Y., Gucek, M., Knepper, M. A. and Geller, H. M. (2013)
  • Global analysis of neuronal phosphoproteome regulation by chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans
  • PLoS One, 8, e59285
  • 7) Zhou, Z., Yu, P., Geller, H. M. and Ober, C (2013)
  • Biomimetic polymer brushes containing tethered acetylcholine analogs for protein and hippocampal neuronal cell patterning
  • Biomacromolecules, 14, 529-37
  • 8) Yi, J. H., Katagiri, Y., Susarla, B., Figge, D., Symes, A. J. and Geller, H. M. (2012)
  • Detection of sulfated chondroitin glycosaminoglycans following controlled cortical impact injury in mice
  • J. Comp. Neurol, 520, 3295-313
  • 9) Dickendesher, T. L., Baldwin, K. T., Mironova, Y. A., Koriyama, Y., Raiker, S. J., Askew, K. L., Geoffroy, C. G., Zheng, B., Liepmann, C. D., Katagiri, Y., Benowitz, L. I., Geller, H. M., Giger, R. J   (2012)
  • NgR1 and NgR3 are inhibitory receptors for chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans
  • Nature Neurosci, 15, 703-12
  • 10) Yu, P., Santiago, L. Y., Wang, H., Katagiri, Y. and Geller, H. M (2012)
  • Myosin II activity regulates neurite outgrowth and guidance in response to chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans
  • J. Neurochem, 120, 1117-1128
  • 11) Zhou, Z., Yu, P., Geller, H. M. and Ober, C. K. (2012)
  • The role of hydrogels with tethered acetylcholine functionality on the adhesion and viability of hippocampus neurons and glial cells.
  • Biomaterials, 33, 2473-2481
  • 12) Koch, D., Rosoff, W. J., Jian, J., Geller, H. M., and Urbach, J. S. (2012)
  • Strength in the periphery: growth cone biomechanics and substrate rigidity response in peripheral and central nervous system neurons,
  • Biophys. J>, 102, 452-460
  • 13) Susarla, B. T. S., Laing, E. D., Yu, P., Katagiri, Y., Geller, H. M. and Symes, A. J. (2011)
  • SMAD proteins differentially regulate TGF-ß mediated induction of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans,
  • J. Neurochem., 119, 868-78
  • 14) Kelly, T.-A.N., Katagiri, Y., Vartanian, K.B., Chen, I.I., Kumar, P., Rosoff, W.J., Urbach, J.S., Geller, H.M. (2010)
  • Localized alteration of microtubule polymerization in response to guidance cues
  • J. Neurosci. Res., 88, 3024-33
  • 15) Krsko, P., McCann, T.E., Thach, T.-T., Laabs, T.L., Geller, H.M., Libera, M.R. (2009)
  • Length-scale mediated adhesion and directed growth of neural cells by surface-patterned poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels
  • Biomaterials, 30, 721-729
  • 16) Wang, H., Katagiri, Y., McCann, T., Unsworth, E., Goldsmith, P., Yu, Z.-X., Tan, F, Mills, E. M., Wang, Y., Symes, A. J. and Geller, H. M. (2008)
  • A sulfation code in chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans regulates axonal guidance and growth,
  • J. Cell Sci., 121, 3083-3091
  • 17) Laabs, T., Wang, H., McCann, T., Katagiri, Y., Fawcett, J. W . and Geller, H. M. (2007)
  • Inhibiting GAG chain polymerization decreases the inhibitory activity of astrocyte-derived chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans
  • J. Neurosci., 27, 14494-14501
  • 18) Carulli, D., Laabs, T.,Geller, H. M. and Fawcett, J. W. (2005)
  • Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in neural development and regeneration.
  • Curr. Opin. Neurobiol., 15, 116-120
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