Harvard University COVID-19 updates

Resources Directory
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Ethan Garner

Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Back to Faculty Profiles


The Garner lab studies the organization, structure, and dynamics of the prokaryotic cytoplasm. Generally, we are interested in elucidating how small collections of genes are able to impart long range order to cells. Currently, we are using a combination of sub-diffraction imaging, particle tracking, and biochemistry to dissect the mechanistic process of how cells grow and divide. We can observe single molecules of the cell wall synthesis machinery move directionally around the cell circumference, and we are working to understand how these motions create the emergent shape of cells and how they are relate to the control of cell growth.


Selected Publications

Garner EC, Bernard R, Wang W, Zhuang X, Rudner DZ, Mitchison T. Coupled, Circumferential Motions of the Cell Wall Synthesis Machinery and MreB Filaments in B. subtilis. Science, 2011 Jul 8;333(6039) p. 222-5. PMCID: PMC3235694

Garner, E.C., C.S. Campbell, D.G, Wiebel, and R.D. Mullins, Reconstitution of DNA segregation driven by assembly of a prokaryotic actin homolog. Science, 2007 315(5816): p. 1270-4. PMCID: PMC2851738

Garner, E.C., C.S. Campbell, and R.D. Mullins, Dynamic instability in a DNA-segregating prokaryotic actin homolog. Science, 2004. 306(5698): p. 1021-5.

Garner EC, MicrobeTracker: quantitative image analysis designed for the smallest organisms. Mol Microbiol. 2011 May;80(3) p. 577-9.
Ptacin JL, Lee SF, Garner EC, Toro E, Eckart M, Comolli LR, Moerner WE, and Shapiro L, A spindle-like apparatus guides bacterial chromosome segregation. Nat Cell Biol. 2010; 12 (8): 791-8. PMCID: PMC3205914

Orlova A, Garner EC, Galkin VE, Heuser J, Mullins RD, and Egelman EH. The structure of bacterial ParM filaments. Nat Struct Mol Biol, 2007 10: p. 921-6.

Choi CL, Claridge SA, Garner EC, Alivisatos AP, Mullins RD. Protein-nanocrystal conjugates support a single filament polymerization model in R1 plasmid segregation. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2008 17; 283(42): 28081–28086. PMCID: PMC2568930

Garner EC, GE Prize essay. Understanding a minimal DNA-segregating machine. Science. 2008 322 (5907) p. 1486-7.

Garner, E., P. Romero, A.K. Dunker, C. Brown, and Z. Obradovic, Predicting Binding Regions within Disordered Proteins. Genome Inform Ser Workshop Genome Inform, 1999. 10: p. 41-50.

Garner, E., P. Cannon, P. Romero, Z. Obradovic, and A.K. Dunker, Predicting Disordered Regions from Amino Acid Sequence: Common Themes Despite Differing Structural Characterization. Genome Inform Ser Workshop Genome Inform, 1998. 9: p. 201-213.

Romero, P., Z. Obradovic, X. Li, E.C. Garner, C.J. Brown, and A.K. Dunker, Sequence complexity of disordered protein. Proteins, 2001. 42(1): p. 38-48.

Williams, R.M., Z. Obradovi, V. Mathura, W. Braun, E.C. Garner, J. Young, S. Takayama, C.J. Brown, and A.K. Dunker, The protein non-folding problem: amino acid determinants of intrinsic order and disorder. Pac Symp Biocomput, 2001: p. 89-100.

Li, X., Z. Obradovic, C.J. Brown, E.C. Garner, and A.K. Dunker, Comparing predictors of disordered protein. Genome Inform Ser Workshop Genome Inform, 2000. 11: p. 172-84.

Dunker, A.K., Z. Obradovic, P. Romero, E.C. Garner, and C.J. Brown, Intrinsic protein disorder in complete genomes. Genome Inform Ser Workshop Genome Inform, 2000. 11: p. 161-71.

Romero, P., Z. Obradovic, C.R. Kissinger, J.E. Villafranca, E. Garner, S. Guilliot, and A.K. Dunker, Thousands of proteins likely to have long disordered regions. Pac Symp Biocomput, 1998: p. 437-48.