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Amy Susanne Gladfelter

Professor of Cell Biology
Cell Biology


Amy Gladfelter is a quantitative cell biologist interested in fundamental mechanisms of cell organization. In her research program, she uses microscopy, biophysical and genetic approaches along with mathematical modeling to study syncytial cells.  Syncytia are cells with many nuclei sharing a common cytoplasm and are found in fungi, throughout the human body such as in muscles and in the placenta as well as in many plants. In her work, she examines how these large cells spatially organize the cytoplasm via biomolecular condensates and sense their shape.  One current focus is in understanding the form and function of the giant syncytium formed in the human placenta that is essential for pregnancy.  A second focus is understanding how syncytial fungi adapt to environmental fluctuations with a goal of predicting mechanisms of adaptation to extreme conditions.

She has been honored with the 2014 Graduate Mentoring Award from Dartmouth, the 2015 Mid-Career Award for Excellence in Research from the American Society of Cell Biology, the 2020 Graduate School Mentoring Award from UNC, and was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar.  She is an elected fellow of AAAS, the America Academy of Microbiology and the American Academy for Arts and Sciences.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of Cell Biology · 2024 - Present Cell Biology, Basic Science Departments
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute · 2023 - Present Duke Cancer Institute, Institutes and Centers

Education, Training & Certifications

Duke University · 2001 Ph.D.