Skip Navigation
  Search Menu
Find an Expert


Erin D. Goley, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Erin D. Goley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry

Research Interests: Bacterial Cell Biology; Cytokinesis; Cytoskeleton; Cellular organization and dynamic reorganization


Dr. Erin Goley is an associate professor of biological chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Goley’s research focuses on bacterial cell biology, with an emphasis on cytoskeletal function during growth and division.

Dr. Goley received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry and mathematics from Hood College. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley. She completed postdoctoral training in bacterial cell biology at Stanford University in 2011. Dr. Goley joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2011.

She is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Society for Microbiology, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Goley received an Innovation Award from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Discovery Fund. She was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. more


  • Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry

Departments / Divisions



  • B.A., Hood College (Maryland) (1998)
  • Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley) (California) (2006)

Additional Training

Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2011, Bacterial Cell Biology

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Goley investigates cytoskeletal processes in bacteria, with current effort concentrated on understanding cytokinesis in the model bacterium, Caulobacter crescentus.

To tackle the question of how bacterial cells divide, Dr. Goley’s team focuses primarily on the function and regulation of the highly conserved tubulin-like protein, FtsZ. FtsZ is thought to act as a scaffold for assembly of the cytokinetic machinery, to generate constrictive forces that drive division, and, ultimately, to direct remodeling of the cell wall. However, the molecular details of FtsZ function are largely unknown.

To gain insight into the mechanisms and regulation of bacterial growth and division, Dr. Goley’s team is using a multi-faceted approach, combining bacterial genetics, microscopy, biochemistry, and in vitro reconstitution to obtain a comprehensive view of the mechanisms of FtsZ action.

These studies will inform models for how proteins at the division site direct cell growth and division and how these processes are integrated with other cell-cycle events in time and space. In light of the high degree of conservation of cell division proteins among bacteria, results will be relevant to the vast majority of bacterial species, including human and animal pathogens.


The Goley Lab is focused on understanding cellular organization and dynamic reorganization in bacteria, with particular focus on the roles of the cytoskeleton in these phenomena. Researchers in the lab use cell biological, biochemical, genetic and structural approaches to dissect cell biological processes with the aim of understanding how they work in molecular detail. Current research is focused on the mechanisms and regulation of cytokinesis and morphogenesis in bacteria.

Lab Website: Goley Lab

Selected Publications

Sundararajan K, Miguel A, Desmarais SM, Meier EL, Huang KC, and Goley ED. "The bacterial tubulin FtsZ requires its intrinsically disordered linker to direct robust cell wall construction." Nature Communications. June 2015. 6:7281.

Biteen JS, Goley ED, Shapiro L, Moerner WE. "Three-dimensional super-resolution imaging of the midplane protein FtsZ in live Caulobacter crescents cells using astigmatism." Chemphyschem. 2012 Mar;13(4):1007-12. doi: 10.1002/cphc.201100686. Epub 2012 Jan 20.

Goley ED, Yeh YC, Hong SH, Fero MJ, Abeliuk E, McAdams HH, Shapiro L. "Assembly of the Caulobacter cell division machine." Mol. Micro. 2011 Jun;80(6):1680-98. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07677.x. Epub 2011 May 17.

Goley ED. "Tiny cells meet big questions: a closer look at bacterial cell biology." Mol Biol Cell. 2013 Apr;24(8):1099-102. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E12-11-0788.

Meier EL and Goley ED. "Form and function of the bacterial cytokinetic ring." Current Opinion in Cell Biology. Feb 2014. 26:19-27.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Graduate Program in Biological Chemistry

Graduate Program in Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology

Activities & Honors


  • Innovation Award, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Discovery Fund, 2015
  • Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, 2007 - 2010
  • Graduate Research Fellow, National Science Foundation, 2001 - 2004


  • The American Society for Cell Biology, 2002
  • The American Society for Microbiology, 2011

    Plenary Session Convener, 2016

    {line break}

    Division J Chair-Elect, 2015

  • The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2014

Professional Activities

  • Member, MSTP/MD-PhD Committee, 2015
  • Member, BCMB Graduate Admissions Committee, 2014
  • Co-organizer, BCMB Graduate Program Retreat, 2013
  • Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports, 2015
Is this you? Edit Profile