Investigator Profile

Barry Gumbiner, PhD

Dr. Gumbiner is a principal investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine. He joined the research institute in 2015 after spending 13 years at the University of Virginia, where he was chair of the Department of Cell Biology and director of the Morphogenesis and Regenerative Medicine Institute. Prior to that he spent 10 years conducting research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He began his career as a principal investigator at the University of California, San Francisco.

He holds a PhD in neurosciences from the University of California, San Francisco, and did postdoctoral training at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany.

“I am fascinated by how the complex 3-dimensional architecture of tissues and organs arises from individual cells. This process, called morphogenesis, is important not only for the development of the embryo, but also for the maintenance, remodeling, repair and regeneration of fully formed tissues in children and adults. We study how adhesion proteins called cadherins control the assembly, organization and maintenance of tissues. Deficits in cadherin function lead to many disease states, including birth defects, cancer (especially tumor metastasis), and inflammation, and we are developing approaches to restore cadherin function as a way to try to alleviate these diseases.”