Andrew Gordus

Andrew Gordus

Assistant Professor

206 Biology East


Andrew Gordus is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology whose research focuses on how novel and innate behaviors are encoded at the cellular and genetic level. He received his PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University, and did his postdoctoral work at The Rockefeller University.


Animals must reach a balance of both behavioral novelty and predictability to navigate and engage with an environment that can at times be both variable and expected. Our lab is interested in the cellular and genetic mechanisms that drive novel and innate behaviors, and how organisms sense and adjust to environmental variability. To address these issues, we use two animals as model organisms: nematodes and spiders. The nematode C. elegans has been a useful genetic and developmental tool for understanding fundamental questions in behavioral genetics, and is one of the few animals to have its complete neuronal architecture mapped. By using a variety of transgenic and genetic tools to manipulate and observe the activity of the neurons in this network, we hope to understand how behavioral novelty arises and adjusts to changing environmental and internal states.

Complex behaviors often require a sequence of internal and external dependencies that move the behavior forward. Our lab uses the orb-weaving behavior of the spider U. diversus to understand how neuronal networks can encode a complex sequence of behaviors. Orb-weavers do not use their vision for web-construction, and are thought to use path integration and spatial memory to map out their environment and influence their decisions. By using a combination of behavioral, neuronal, and genetic approaches, we hope to understand how this behavior is encoded and adjusts to environmental input.

  1. Dana, H., Mohar, B., Sun, Y., Narayan, S., Gordus, A., Hasseman, JP., Tsegaye, G., Holt, GT., Hu, A., Walpita, D., Patel, R., Macklin, JJ., Bargmann, CI., Ahrens, MB., Schreiter, ER., Jayaraman, V., Looger, LL., Svoboda, K., Kim, DS. (2016) Sensitive red protein calcium indicators for imaging neural activity. eLife. e12727.


  1. Larsch, J., Flavell, SW., Liu, Q., Gordus, A., Albrecht, DR., Bargmann, CI. (2015) A circuit for gradient climbing in C. elegans chemotaxis. Cell Reports. 12(11):1748-60.


  1. Gordus, A., Pokala, N., Levy, S., Flavell, SW., Bargmann, CI. (2015) Feedback from network states generates variability in a probabilistic olfactory circuit. Cell. 161(2), 215-27

    Preview: Kristan, W. (2015) Pinning Down Randomness. Cell. 161(2), 189-90.

    Research Highlight: Carr, F. (2015) Unpredictable Turns in the Worm. Nat. Rev. Neuro.16.


  1. Pokala, N., Liu, Q., Gordus, A., Bargmann, CI. (2014) Inducible and titratable silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in vivo with histamine-gated chloride channels. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 111(7), 2770-5.


  1. Akerboom, J., Carreras Calderón, N., Tian, L., Wabnig, S., Prigge, M., Tolö, J., Gordus, A., Orger, M.B., Severi, K.E., Macklin, J.J., Patel, R., Pulver, S.R., Wardill, T.J., Fischer, E., Schüler, C., Chen, T.W., Sarkisyan, K.S., Marvin, J.S., Bargmann, C.I., Kim, D.S., Kügler, S., Lagnado, L., Hegemann, P., Gottschalk, A., Schreiter, E.R., Looger, L.L. (2013) Genetically encoded calcium indicators for multi-color neural activity imaging and combination with optogenetics. Front. Mol. Neurosci. , 6(2), 1-29.


  1. Koytiger, G., Kaushansky, A., Gordus, A., Rush, J., Sorger, P.K., Macbeath, G. (2013) Phosphotyrosine Signaling Proteins that Drive Oncogenesis Tend to be Highly Interconnected. Mol. Cell. Proteomics., 12(5), 1204-13.


  1. Marvin, J.S., Borghuis, B.G., Tian, L., Cichon, J., Harnett, M.T., Akerboom, J., Gordus, A., Renninger, S.L., Chen, T.W., Bargmann, C.I., Orger, M.B., Schreiter, E.R., Demb, J.B., Gan, W.B., Hires, S.A., Looger, L.L. (2013) An optimized fluorescent probe for visualizing glutamate neurotransmission. Nat. Methods., 10(2), 162-70.


  1. Akerboom, J., Chen, T.W., Wardill, T.J., Tian, L., Marvin, J.S., Mutlu, S., Calderón, N.C., Esposti, F., Borghuis, B.G., Sun, X.R., Gordus, A., Orger, M.B., Portugues, R., Engert, F., Macklin, J.J., Filosa, A., Aggarwal, A., Kerr, R.A., Takagi, R., Kracun, S., Shigetomi, E., Khakh, B.S., Baier, H., Lagnado, L., Wang, S.S., Bargmann, C.I., Kimmel, B.E., Jayaraman, V., Svoboda, K., Kim, D.S., Schreiter, E.R., Looger, L.L. (2012) Optimization of a GCaMP calcium indicator for neural activity imaging. J. Neurosci., 32(40), 13819-40.


  1. Mehlitz, A., Banhart, S., Mäurer, A.P., Kaushansky, A., Gordus, A., Zielecki, J., Macbeath, G., Meyer, T.F. (2010) Tarp regulates early Chlamydia-induced host cell survival through interactions with the human adaptor protein SHC1. J. Cell. Biol., 190(1), 143-57.


  1. Kaushansky, A., Allen, J.E., Gordus, A., Stiffler, M., Karp, E.S., Chang, B.H., MacBeath, G. (2010) Quantifying protein-protein interactions in high throughput using protein domain microarrays. Nature Protocols, 5(4), 773-790.


  1. Gordus, A.*, Krall, J.A.*, Beyer, E.*, Kaushansky, A., Wolf-Yadlin, A., Sevecka, M., Chang, B., MacBeath, G. (2008) Linear combinations of docking affinities explain quantitative differences in RTK signaling. Mol. Syst. Biol., 5(235), 1-10.


  1. Kaushansky, A., Gordus, A., Budnik, B.A., Lane, W.S., Rush, J., and MacBeath, G. (2008) System-Wide Investigation of ErbB4 Reveals that it is Substantially More Selective than the Other ErbB Receptors. Chem. Biol.,15(8), 808-817.


  1. Kaushansky, A., Gordus, A., Chang, B., Rush J., MacBeath, G. (2008) A Quantitative Study of the Recruitment Potential of all Intracellular Tyrosine Residues on EGFR, FGFR1 and IGF1R. Mol. BioSys., 4, 1-10.


  1. Gordus, A., MacBeath, G. (2006) Circumventing the Problems Caused by Protein Diversity in Microarrays: Implications for Protein Interaction Networks. JACS, 128(42), 13668-13669.

    Research Highlights: Rusk, N. (2006) Overcoming protein diversity on arrays. Nat. Meth. 3, 966.


  1. Jones, R.B.*, Gordus, A. *, Krall, J.A., MacBeath, G. (2006) A Quantitative Protein Interaction Network for the ErbB Receptors Using Protein Microarrays. Nature, 439, 168-174.


  1. Bokinsky, G., Rueda, D., Misra, V.K., Rhodes, M.M., Gordus, A., Babcock, H.P., Walter, N.G., Zhuang, X. (2003) Single-Molecule Transition-State Analysis of RNA Folding. PNAS, 100(16), 9302-9307.


* - Joint First Authors.