University of Oregon

George von Dassow

Assistant Professor


PhD Zoology, U. Washington, 2000


Mail:   OIMB, P.O. Box 5389
Charleston OR, 97420, USA

OIMB, 63466 Boat Basin Road
Charleston, OR 97420, USA
Phone:   (541) 888-2581 x238
Fax:   (541) 888-3250

Selected Publications

W. M. Bement, M. Leda, A. M. Moe, A. M. Kita, M. E. Larson, A. E. Golding, C. Pfeuti, K.-C. Su, A. L. Miller, A. B. Goryachev, and G. von Dassow (2015) Activator-inhibitor coupling between Rho signalling and actin assembly makes the cell cortex an excitable medium. Nature Cell Biology in press (Epub ahead of print, doi:10.138/ncb3251)

K.-C. Su, W. M. Bement, M. Petronczki, and G. von Dassow (2014) An astral simulacrum of the central spindle accounts for normal, spindle-less, and anucleate cytokinesis in echinoderm embryos. Molecular Biology of the Cell 25: 4049-62.

A. M. Bird, G. von Dassow, and S. A. Maslakova (2014) How the pilidium larva grows. Evodevo 5: 13.

G. von Dassow, R. B. Emlet, and S. A. Maslakova (2013) How the pilidium larva feeds. Frontiers in Zoology 10: 47.

T. C. Hiebert, G. von Dassow, L. S. Hiebert, and S. A. Maslakova (2013) The peculiar nemertean larva pilidium recurvatum belongs to Riserius sp., a basal heteronemertean that eats Carcinonemertes errans, a hoplonemertean parasite of Dungeness crab. Invertebrate Biology 132: 207-25.

T. I. Smart and G. von Dassow (2009) Unusual development of the mitraria larva in the polychaete Owenia collarisBiological Bulletin 217: 253-68.

G. von Dassow, K. J. Verbrugghe, A. L. Miller, J. R. Sider, and W. M. Bement (2009) Action at a distance during cytokinesis.  Journal of Cell Biology 187: 831-45.

J. K. Baruni, E. M. Munro, and G. von Dassow (2008) Cytokinetic furrow induction in toroidal, binucleate, and anucleate C. elegans embryonic cells.  Journal of Cell Science 121: 306-16.

W. M. Bement, H. A. Benink, and G. von Dassow (2005) A microtubule-dependent zone of active RhoA during cleavage plane specification. Journal of Cell Biology 170: 91-101.

G. von Dassow, E. Meir, E. M. Munro, and G. M. Odell (2000) The segment polarity network is a robust developmental module. Nature 406: 188-92.

G. von Dassow and G. Schubiger (1994) How an actin network might cause fountain streaming and nuclear migration in the syncytial Drosophila embryo. Journal of Cell Biology 127: 1637-53.


The cells composing invertebrate embryos perform – in a great hurry, synchronously, and in large numbers – most of the fundamental behaviors that characterize all animal cells. My current research focus is the self-assembly and function of the cytoskeleton during embryonic cell division, especially during the induction and maintenance of the cytokinetic apparatus – the poorly-understood machine that actually pinches the cell in two. My collaborators and I use fluorescent-protein probes, micromanipulation, and time-lapse confocal microscopy to describe the dynamics and functional relations among microtubules, actomyosin, and key signaling molecules. While this is my main project recently, I’m generally interested in cell behavior during early development, and in the comparative embryology of invertebrates, especially the evolution and functional physiology of larval forms and adaptations of early development.


Please visit my main website for movies, images, and more about my research.