Kristin Gunsalus

Associate Professor of Biology



A major challenge in systems biology is how to extract meaningful biological insights from large heterogeneous data sets that probe different aspects of gene function. Our laboratory uses high-throughput functional genomics and computational approaches to study the cell biology, post-translational regulation, and evolution of molecular mechanisms during early embryonic development in the simple animal model C. elegans and related nematodes. For example, since most diseases are multigenic in origin, we are generating genome-wide genetic interaction maps for genes with essential roles in the early embryo that will help us understand how these interactions affect embryogenesis. By integrating diverse functional genomics data, we seek to gain a better understanding of how different groups of genes work together to coordinate cellular and developmental processes. 

Dr. Gunsalus is one of the founding members of a sister center to the CGSB at NYU Abu Dhabi. In our Abu Dhabi laboratory, we are developing similar and complementary approaches for high-throughput and high-content chemical genomics using whole animal and cell-based assays. The aims of this work are to identify novel bioactive molecules, to study their mechanisms of action, and to characterize ways in which resistance to drugs may arise. Applications include potential biomarkers and chemotherapeutics for diseases such as cancer and the development of novel anthelmintics for use to treat parasitic nematode infections, which afflict nearly 2 billion people worldwide and cause widespread damage to domestic animals and crop plants. As part of this work, we are sampling diverse ecological niches and assaying the biological activity of natural products from microorganisms, which use a vast array of metabolites as chemical communication.

Dr. Gunsalus also serves as Director of Bioinformatics at NYU Abu Dhabi, where our team of bioinformaticians and software developers provide deep sequencing analysis and training for researchers across the campus. In partnership with the CGSB’s GenCore team in New York, we are developing a variety of data analysis pipelines and software tools to support all major applications of next-gen sequencing for use by researchers in both locations.


Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) Fellow

National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences

NSF ADVANCE Fellows Award, W.M. Keck Foundation Fellowship in Biology


A non-canonical site reveals the cooperative mechanisms of microRNA-mediated silencing.
Nucleic Acids Res (2017 May 08) PMID: 28482037
Flamand MN, Gan HH, Mayya VK, Gunsalus KC, Duchaine TF

Detecting and Trapping of a Single C. elegans Worm in a Microfluidic Chip for Automated Microplate Dispensing.
J Lab Autom (2016 Sep 01) PMID: 27630097
Desta IT, Al-Sharif A, AlGharibeh N, Mustafa N, Orozaliev A, Giakoumidis N, Gunsalus KC, Song YA

A novel small molecule that disrupts a key event during the oocyte-to-embryo transition in C. elegans.
Development (2016 Oct 01) PMC5087616 free full-text archive
Weicksel SE, Mahadav A, Moyle M, Cipriani PG, Kudron M, Pincus Z, Bahmanyar S, Abriola L, Merkel J, Gutwein M, Fernandez AG, Piano F, Gunsalus KC, Reinke V

In Vivo Interaction Proteomics in Caenorhabditis elegans Embryos Provides New Insights into P Granule Dynamics.
Mol Cell Proteomics (2016 May) PMC4858945 free full-text archive
Chen JX, Cipriani PG, Mecenas D, Polanowska J, Piano F, Gunsalus KC, Selbach M

Erratum to: MINE: Module Identification in Networks.
BMC Bioinformatics (2016 Feb 17) PMC4756399 free full-text archive
Rhrissorrakrai K, Gunsalus KC

Assembly and analysis of eukaryotic Argonaute-RNA complexes in microRNA-target recognition.
Nucleic Acids Res (2015 Nov 16) PMC4787751 free full-text archive
Gan HH, Gunsalus KC

Wild worm embryogenesis harbors ubiquitous polygenic modifier variation.
Elife (2015 Aug 22) PMC4569889 free full-text archive
Paaby AB, White AG, Riccardi DD, Gunsalus KC, Piano F, Rockman MV

Label free cell-tracking and division detection based on 2D time-lapse images for lineage analysis of early embryo development.
Comput Biol Med (2014 Aug) PMC4096606 free full-text archive
Cicconet M, Gutwein M, Gunsalus KC, Geiger D

DevStaR: high-throughput quantification of C. elegans developmental stages.
IEEE Trans Med Imaging (2013 Oct) PMID: 23722463
White AG, Lees B, Kao HL, Cipriani PG, Munarriz E, Paaby AB, Erickson K, Guzman S, Rattanakorn K, Sontag E, Geiger D, Gunsalus KC, Piano F

Tertiary structure-based analysis of microRNA-target interactions.
RNA (2013 Apr) PMC3677264 free full-text archive
Gan HH, Gunsalus KC

Electrical activity can impose time of day on the circadian transcriptome of pacemaker neurons.
Curr Biol (2012 Oct 23) PMC3562355 free full-text archive
Mizrak D, Ruben M, Myers GN, Rhrissorrakrai K, Gunsalus KC, Blau J

Networks in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Curr Opin Genet Dev (2011 Dec) PMID: 22054717
Gunsalus KC, Rhrissorrakrai K

Rational design of temperature-sensitive alleles using computational structure prediction.
PLoS One (2011) PMC3166291 free full-text archive
Poultney CS, Butterfoss GL, Gutwein MR, Drew K, Gresham D, Gunsalus KC, Shasha DE, Bonneau R

MINE: Module Identification in Networks.
BMC Bioinformatics (2011 May 23) PMC3123237 free full-text archive
Rhrissorrakrai K, Gunsalus KC

A high-resolution C. elegans essential gene network based on phenotypic profiling of a complex tissue.
Cell (2011 Apr 29) PMC3086541 free full-text archive
Green RA, Kao HL, Audhya A, Arur S, Mayers JR, Fridolfsson HN, Schulman M, Schloissnig S, Niessen S, Laband K, Wang S, Starr DA, Hyman AA, Schedl T, Desai A, Piano F, Gunsalus KC, Oegema K

Integrative analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans genome by the modENCODE project.
Science (2010 Dec 24) PMC3142569 free full-text archive
Gerstein MB, Lu ZJ, Van Nostrand EL, Cheng C, Arshinoff BI, Liu T, Yip KY, Robilotto R, Rechtsteiner A, Ikegami K, Alves P, Chateigner A, Perry M, Morris M, Auerbach RK, Feng X, Leng J, Vielle A, Niu W, Rhrissorrakrai K, Agarwal A, Alexander RP, Barber G, Brdlik CM, Brennan J, Brouillet JJ, Carr A, Cheung MS, Clawson H, Contrino S, Dannenberg LO, Dernburg AF, Desai A, Dick L, Dose AC, Du J, Egelhofer T, Ercan S, Euskirchen G, Ewing B, Feingold EA, Gassmann R, Good PJ, Green P, Gullier F, Gutwein M, Guyer MS, Habegger L, Han T, Henikoff JG, Henz SR, Hinrichs A, Holster H, Hyman T, Iniguez AL, Janette J, Jensen M, Kato M, Kent WJ, Kephart E, Khivansara V, Khurana E, Kim JK, Kolasinska-Zwierz P, Lai EC, Latorre I, Leahey A, Lewis S, Lloyd P, Lochovsky L, Lowdon RF, Lubling Y, Lyne R, MacCoss M, Mackowiak SD, Mangone M, McKay S, Mecenas D, Merrihew G, Miller DM 3rd, Muroyama A, Murray JI, Ooi SL, Pham H, Phippen T, Preston EA, Rajewsky N, Ratsch G, Rosenbaum H, Rozowsky J, Rutherford K, Ruzanov P, Sarov M, Sasidharan R, Sboner A, Scheid P, Segal E, Shin H, Shou C, Slack FJ, Slightam C, Smith R, Spencer WC, Stinson EO, Taing S, Takasaki T, Vafeados D, Voronina K, Wang G, Washington NL, Whittle CM, Wu B, Yan KK, Zeller G, Zha Z, Zhong M, Zhou X, Ahringer J, Strome S, Gunsalus KC, Micklem G, Liu XS, Reinke V, Kim SK, Hillier LW, Henikoff S, Piano F, Snyder M, Stein L, Lieb JD, Waterston RH

Rapid and accurate developmental stage recognition of C. elegans from high-throughput image data.
Proc IEEE Comput Soc Conf Comput Vis Pattern Recognit (2010 Aug 05) PMC3205469 free full-text archive
White AG, Cipriani PG, Kao HL, Lees B, Geiger D, Sontag E, Gunsalus KC, Piano F

The landscape of C. elegans 3'UTRs.
Science (2010 Jul 23) PMC3142571 free full-text archive
Mangone M, Manoharan AP, Thierry-Mieg D, Thierry-Mieg J, Han T, Mackowiak SD, Mis E, Zegar C, Gutwein MR, Khivansara V, Attie O, Chen K, Salehi-Ashtiani K, Vidal M, Harkins TT, Bouffard P, Suzuki Y, Sugano S, Kohara Y, Rajewsky N, Piano F, Gunsalus KC, Kim JK

Benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide stimulates an inflammatory response in normal human lung fibroblasts through a p53 and JNK mediated pathway.
Carcinogenesis (2010 Jun) PMC2878364 free full-text archive
Dreij K, Rhrissorrakrai K, Gunsalus KC, Geacintov NE, Scicchitano DA

Unlocking the secrets of the genome.
Nature (2009 Jun 18) PMC2843545 free full-text archive
Celniker SE, Dillon LA, Gerstein MB, Gunsalus KC, Henikoff S, Karpen GH, Kellis M, Lai EC, Lieb JD, MacAlpine DM, Micklem G, Piano F, Snyder M, Stein L, White KP, Waterston RH

Empirically controlled mapping of the Caenorhabditis elegans protein-protein interactome network.
Nat Methods (2009 Jan) PMC3057923 free full-text archive
Simonis N, Rual JF, Carvunis AR, Tasan M, Lemmens I, Hirozane-Kishikawa T, Hao T, Sahalie JM, Venkatesan K, Gebreab F, Cevik S, Klitgord N, Fan C, Braun P, Li N, Ayivi-Guedehoussou N, Dann E, Bertin N, Szeto D, Dricot A, Yildirim MA, Lin C, de Smet AS, Kao HL, Simon C, Smolyar A, Ahn JS, Tewari M, Boxem M, Milstein S, Yu H, Dreze M, Vandenhaute J, Gunsalus KC, Cusick ME, Hill DE, Tavernier J, Roth FP, Vidal M

Browsing multidimensional molecular networks with the generic network browser (N-Browse).
Curr Protoc Bioinformatics (2008 Sep) PMC3217184 free full-text archive
Kao HL, Gunsalus KC

Mating induces an immune response and developmental switch in the Drosophila oviduct.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (2008 Sep 16) PMC2544553 free full-text archive
Kapelnikov A, Zelinger E, Gottlieb Y, Rhrissorrakrai K, Gunsalus KC, Heifetz Y

A protein domain-based interactome network for C. elegans early embryogenesis.
Cell (2008 Aug 08) PMC2596478 free full-text archive
Boxem M, Maliga Z, Klitgord N, Li N, Lemmens I, Mana M, de Lichtervelde L, Mul JD, van de Peut D, Devos M, Simonis N, Yildirim MA, Cokol M, Kao HL, de Smet AS, Wang H, Schlaitz AL, Hao T, Milstein S, Fan C, Tipsword M, Drew K, Galli M, Rhrissorrakrai K, Drechsel D, Koller D, Roth FP, Iakoucheva LM, Dunker AK, Bonneau R, Gunsalus KC, Hill DE, Piano F, Tavernier J, van den Heuvel S, Hyman AA, Vidal M

A Caenorhabditis elegans genetic-interaction map wiggles into view.
J Biol (2008) PMC2323036 free full-text archive
Gunsalus KC

Protein production and purification.
Nat Methods (2008 Feb) PMC3178102 free full-text archive
Graslund S, Nordlund P, Weigelt J, Hallberg BM, Bray J, Gileadi O, Knapp S, Oppermann U, Arrowsmith C, Hui R, Ming J, dhe-Paganon S, Park HW, Savchenko A, Yee A, Edwards A, Vincentelli R, Cambillau C, Kim R, Kim SH, Rao Z, Shi Y, Terwilliger TC, Kim CY, Hung LW, Waldo GS, Peleg Y, Albeck S, Unger T, Dym O, Prilusky J, Sussman JL, Stevens RC, Lesley SA, Wilson IA, Joachimiak A, Collart F, Dementieva I, Donnelly MI, Eschenfeldt WH, Kim Y, Stols L, Wu R, Zhou M, Burley SK, Emtage JS, Sauder JM, Thompson D, Bain K, Luz J, Gheyi T, Zhang F, Atwell S, Almo SC, Bonanno JB, Fiser A, Swaminathan S, Studier FW, Chance MR, Sali A, Acton TB, Xiao R, Zhao L, Ma LC, Hunt JF, Tong L, Cunningham K, Inouye M, Anderson S, Janjua H, Shastry R, Ho CK, Wang D, Wang H, Jiang M, Montelione GT, Stuart DI, Owens RJ, Daenke S, Schutz A, Heinemann U, Yokoyama S, Bussow K, Gunsalus KC

Diverse roles of actin in C. elegans early embryogenesis.
BMC Dev Biol (2007 Dec 24) PMC2323969 free full-text archive
Velarde N, Gunsalus KC, Piano F

C. elegans network biology: a beginning.
WormBook (2006 Aug 21) PMC4781290 free full-text archive
Piano F, Gunsalus KC, Hill DE, Vidal M a platform for 3'UTR biology in C. elegans.
Nucleic Acids Res (2008 Jan) PMC2238901 free full-text archive
Mangone M, Macmenamin P, Zegar C, Piano F, Gunsalus KC

Network modeling links breast cancer susceptibility and centrosome dysfunction.
Nat Genet (2007 Nov) PMID: 17922014
Pujana MA, Han JD, Starita LM, Stevens KN, Tewari M, Ahn JS, Rennert G, Moreno V, Kirchhoff T, Gold B, Assmann V, Elshamy WM, Rual JF, Levine D, Rozek LS, Gelman RS, Gunsalus KC, Greenberg RA, Sobhian B, Bertin N, Venkatesan K, Ayivi-Guedehoussou N, Sole X, Hernandez P, Lazaro C, Nathanson KL, Weber BL, Cusick ME, Hill DE, Offit K, Livingston DM, Gruber SB, Parvin JD, Vidal M

Forward chemical genetic approach identifies new role for GAPDH in insulin signaling.
Nat Chem Biol (2007 Jan) PMID: 17115034
Min J, Kyung Kim Y, Cipriani PG, Kang M, Khersonsky SM, Walsh DP, Lee JY, Niessen S, Yates JR 3rd, Gunsalus K, Piano F, Chang YT

Twinstar, the Drosophila homolog of cofilin/ADF, is required for planar cell polarity patterning.
Development (2006 May) PMID: 16571634
Blair A, Tomlinson A, Pham H, Gunsalus KC, Goldberg ML, Laski FA

A genome-wide map of conserved microRNA targets in C. elegans.
Curr Biol (2006 Mar 07) PMID: 16458514
Lall S, Grun D, Krek A, Chen K, Wang YL, Dewey CN, Sood P, Colombo T, Bray N, Macmenamin P, Kao HL, Gunsalus KC, Pachter L, Piano F, Rajewsky N

microRNA target predictions across seven Drosophila species and comparison to mammalian targets.
PLoS Comput Biol (2005 Jun) PMC1183519 free full-text archive
Grun D, Wang YL, Langenberger D, Gunsalus KC, Rajewsky N

Predictive models of molecular machines involved in Caenorhabditis elegans early embryogenesis.
Nature (2005 Aug 11) PMID: 16094371
Gunsalus KC, Ge H, Schetter AJ, Goldberg DS, Han JD, Hao T, Berriz GF, Bertin N, Huang J, Chuang LS, Li N, Mani R, Hyman AA, Sonnichsen B, Echeverri CJ, Roth FP, Vidal M, Piano F

Robotic cloning and Protein Production Platform of the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium.
Methods Enzymol (2005) PMID: 15808222
Acton TB, Gunsalus KC, Xiao R, Ma LC, Aramini J, Baran MC, Chiang YW, Climent T, Cooper B, Denissova NG, Douglas SM, Everett JK, Ho CK, Macapagal D, Rajan PK, Shastry R, Shih LY, Swapna GV, Wilson M, Wu M, Gerstein M, Inouye M, Hunt JF, Montelione GT

Combinatorial microRNA target predictions.
Nat Genet (2005 May) PMID: 15806104
Krek A, Grun D, Poy MN, Wolf R, Rosenberg L, Epstein EJ, MacMenamin P, da Piedade I, Gunsalus KC, Stoffel M, Rajewsky N

Full-genome RNAi profiling of early embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Nature (2005 Mar 24) PMID: 15791247
Sonnichsen B, Koski LB, Walsh A, Marschall P, Neumann B, Brehm M, Alleaume AM, Artelt J, Bettencourt P, Cassin E, Hewitson M, Holz C, Khan M, Lazik S, Martin C, Nitzsche B, Ruer M, Stamford J, Winzi M, Heinkel R, Roder M, Finell J, Hantsch H, Jones SJ, Jones M, Piano F, Gunsalus KC, Oegema K, Gonczy P, Coulson A, Hyman AA, Echeverri CJ

New genes with roles in the C. elegans embryo revealed using RNAi of ovary-enriched ORFeome clones.
Genome Res (2005 Feb) PMC546526 free full-text archive
Fernandez AG, Gunsalus KC, Huang J, Chuang LS, Ying N, Liang HL, Tang C, Schetter AJ, Zegar C, Rual JF, Hill DE, Reinke V, Vidal M, Piano F

Autosomal genes of autosomal/X-linked duplicated gene pairs and germ-line proliferation in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Genetics (2005 Apr) PMC1449572 free full-text archive
Maciejowski J, Ahn JH, Cipriani PG, Killian DJ, Chaudhary AL, Lee JI, Voutev R, Johnsen RC, Baillie DL, Gunsalus KC, Fitch DH, Hubbard EJ

RNAi as a tool to study cell biology: building the genome-phenome bridge.
Curr Opin Cell Biol (2005 Feb) PMID: 15661512
Gunsalus KC, Piano F

Feo, the Drosophila homolog of PRC1, is required for central-spindle formation and cytokinesis.
Curr Biol (2004 Sep 07) PMID: 15341744
Verni F, Somma MP, Gunsalus KC, Bonaccorsi S, Belloni G, Goldberg ML, Gatti M

Backbone 1H, 15N and 13C assignments for the 21 kDa Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of "brain-specific" protein.
J Biomol NMR (2004 Jan) PMID: 14739645
Monleon D, Chiang Y, Aramini JM, Swapna GV, Macapagal D, Gunsalus KC, Kim S, Szyperski T, Montelione GT

A map of the interactome network of the metazoan C. elegans.
Science (2004 Jan 23) PMC1698949 free full-text archive
Li S, Armstrong CM, Bertin N, Ge H, Milstein S, Boxem M, Vidalain PO, Han JD, Chesneau A, Hao T, Goldberg DS, Li N, Martinez M, Rual JF, Lamesch P, Xu L, Tewari M, Wong SL, Zhang LV, Berriz GF, Jacotot L, Vaglio P, Reboul J, Hirozane-Kishikawa T, Li Q, Gabel HW, Elewa A, Baumgartner B, Rose DJ, Yu H, Bosak S, Sequerra R, Fraser A, Mango SE, Saxton WM, Strome S, Van Den Heuvel S, Piano F, Vandenhaute J, Sardet C, Gerstein M, Doucette-Stamm L, Gunsalus KC, Harper JW, Cusick ME, Roth FP, Hill DE, Vidal M

RNAiDB and PhenoBlast: web tools for genome-wide phenotypic mapping projects.
Nucleic Acids Res (2004 Jan 01) PMC308844 free full-text archive
Gunsalus KC, Yueh WC, MacMenamin P, Piano F

Gene clustering based on RNAi phenotypes of ovary-enriched genes in C. elegans.
Curr Biol (2002 Nov 19) PMID: 12445391
Piano F, Schetter AJ, Morton DG, Gunsalus KC, Reinke V, Kim SK, Kemphues KJ

Integrating interactome, phenome, and transcriptome mapping data for the C. elegans germline.
Curr Biol (2002 Nov 19) PMID: 12445390
Walhout AJ, Reboul J, Shtanko O, Bertin N, Vaglio P, Ge H, Lee H, Doucette-Stamm L, Gunsalus KC, Schetter AJ, Morton DG, Kemphues KJ, Reinke V, Kim SK, Piano F, Vidal M

Cofilin/ADF is required for cell motility during Drosophila ovary development and oogenesis.
Nat Cell Biol (2001 Feb) PMID: 11175754
Chen J, Godt D, Gunsalus K, Kiss I, Goldberg M, Laski FA

Protein NMR spectroscopy in structural genomics.
Nat Struct Biol (2000 Nov) PMID: 11104006
Montelione GT, Zheng D, Huang YJ, Gunsalus KC, Szyperski T

A Drosophila melanogaster homologue of Caenorhabditis elegans par-1 acts at an early step in embryonic-axis formation.
Nat Cell Biol (2000 Jul) PMID: 10878812
Tomancak P, Piano F, Riechmann V, Gunsalus KC, Kemphues KJ, Ephrussi A

Mutations in twinstar, a Drosophila gene encoding a cofilin/ADF homologue, result in defects in centrosome migration and cytokinesis.
J Cell Biol (1995 Dec) PMC2120640 free full-text archive
Gunsalus KC, Bonaccorsi S, Williams E, Verni F, Gatti M, Goldberg ML