Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction


After receiving a B.S. in Microbiology and a M.S. in Biochemistry I received a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University in 2001 where I studied core signaling pathways regulating cell survival in the laboratory of John Blenis. I then moved to Seattle where I studied signaling pathways regulating brain development for two years in the laboratory of Jonathan Cooper at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I then moved back to Boston where I completed my postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Steven Gygi where I studied mass spectrometry and proteomics for three years. In 2006 I joined the Department of Biology at the University of Vermont.

Research Description

Research in the Ballif lab is primarily focused on elucidating molecular mechanisms of signal transduction with two major emphases: (A) genetically-defined signaling pathways regulating mammalian brain development and (B) core signaling pathways regulating cell proliferation, growth and survival. In addition to biochemical and cell biological approaches, we employ mass spectrometry-based proteomics as a primary tool to simultaneously monitor hundreds to thousands of proteins, their modifications and their interactions with other proteins following acute signal administration or across developmental stages.

A second focus of our work involves developing and applying proteomic methodology to advance diverse lines of biological inquiry, some of which have had little to no interface with proteomics. This makes these projects both exciting and challenging. These collaborative projects range from the identification of novel human blood group antigens; to the identification of host proteins that interact with arenavirus proteins; to targeted proteomic characterizations of wasps, pitcher plant ecosystems, ants, fruit flies, unicellular ciliates and parasitic protozoa.

Recent Publications

Engel U, Zhan Y, Long JB, Boyle SN, Ballif BA, Dorey K, Gygi SP, Koleske AJ, Vanvactor D (2014) Abelson phosphorylation of CLASP2 modulates its association with microtubules and actin. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken) 71(3): 195-209.

Lopez-Osorio F, Pickett KM, Carpenter JM, Ballif BA, Agnarsson I (2014) Phylogenetic relationships of yellowjackets inferred from nine loci (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Vespinae, Vespula and Dolichovespula). Mol Phylogenet Evol 73: 190-201.

Purmessur D, Guterl CC, Cho SK, Cornejo MC, Lam YW, Ballif BA, Laudier JC, Iatridis JC (2013) Dynamic pressurization induces transition of notochordal cells to a mature phenotype while retaining production of important patterning ligands from development. Arthritis Res Ther 15(5): R122.

Klaus JP, Eisenhauer P, Russo J, Mason AB, Do D, King B, Taatjes D, Cornillez-Ty C, Boyson JE, Thali M, Zheng C, Liao L, Yates JR 3rd, Zhang B, Ballif BA, Botten JW (2013) The intracellular cargo receptor ERGIC-53 is required for the production of infectious arenavirus, coronavirus, and filovirus particles. Cell Host Microbe 14(5): 522-34.

Aten TM, Redmond MM, Weaver SO, Love CC, Joy RM, Lapp AS, Rivera OD, Hinkle KL, Ballif BA (2013) Tyrosine phosphorylation of the orphan receptor ESDN/DCBLD2 serves as a scaffold for the signaling adaptor CrkL. FEBS Lett 587(15): 2313-8.

Ballif BA, Helias V, Peyrard T, Menanteau C, Saison C, Lucien N, Bourgouin S, Le Gall M, Cartron JP, Arnaud L (2013) Disruption of SMIM1 causes the Vel- blood type. EMBO Mol Med 5(5): 751-61.

Bior BK, Ballif BA (2013) Dab1 stabilizes its interaction with Cin85 by suppressing Cin85 phosphorylation at serine 587. FEBS Lett 587(1): 60-6.

View all Ballif publications here.

Bryan Ballif, Ph.D.

Ballif, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Biology


Office: 311 Marsh
Lab: 304 Marsh

Lab Homepage

Upcoming Events

  • 4/22/2014 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    Davis Auditorium
    Changjiang Yu
  • 5/6/2014 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    Davis Auditorium
    Bob Bauer
  • 5/6/2014 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
    Davis Auditorium
    Andrew Little

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