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Karen Kasza, PhD

Research Fellow


Karen Kasza is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University.

Research Interests

I study how shape and form are generated in developing embryos by combining molecular and genetic approaches with quantitative imaging and biophysical tools.

Education and Training

Sloan Kettering Institute, Postdoctoral research
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation
Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface

Harvard University, Ph.D. in Applied Physics with David Weitz

University of Chicago, B.A. in Physics and B.S. in Mathematics


K.E. Kasza, D.L. Farrell, J.A. Zallen. Spatiotemporal control of epithelial remodeling by regulated myosin phosphorylation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2014; 111(32):11732.
K.E. Kasza, D Vader, S Köster, N Wang, DA Weitz. Imaging Techniques for Measuring the Materials Properties of Cells. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols. 2011; (4), pdb. top107.

K.E. Kasza, J.A. Zallen. Dynamics and regulation of contractile actin-myosin networks in morphogenesis. Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2010; 23(1): 30.

K.E. Kasza, C.P. Broedersz, G.H. Koenderink, Y.C. Lin, W. Messner, E.A. Millman, F. Nakamura, T.P. Stossel, F. C. MacKintosh, D. A. Weitz. Actin filament length tunes elasticity of flexibly cross-linked actin networks. Biophysical Journal. 2010; 99:1091-1100.

C.P. Broedersz, K.E. Kasza, L.M. Jawerth, S. Muenster, D.A. Weitz, F.C. MacKintosh. Measurement of nonlinear rheology of cross-linked biopolymer gels. Soft Matter. 2010; 6:4120.

N.Y. Yao, C.P. Broedersz, Y.C. Lin, K.E. Kasza, F.C. MacKintosh, D.A. Weitz. Elasticity in ionically cross-linked neurofilament networks. Biophysical Journal. 2010; 98:2147.

K.E. Kasza, G.H. Koenderink, Y.C. Lin, C.P. Broedersz, W. Messner, F. Nakamura, T.P. Stossel, F.C. MacKintosh, D.A. Weitz. Nonlinear elasticity of stiff biopolymers connected by flexible linkers. Physical Review E. 2009; 96:4326-35.

K.E. Kasza, F. Nakamura, S. Hu, P. Kollmannsberger, N. Bonakdar, B. Fabry, T.P. Stossel, N. Wang, D.A. Weitz. Filamin A is essential for active cell stiffening but not passive stiffening under external force. Biophysical Journal. 2009; 79:041928.

F. Huang, R. Rotstein, K.E. Kasza, N.T. Flynn, S. Fraden. Phase behavior and rheology of attractive rod-like particles. Soft Matter. 2009; 5: 2766-2771.

F. Nakamura, O. Heikkinen, O.T. Pentikäinen, T.M. Osborn, K.E. Kasza, D.A. Weitz, O. Kupiainen, P. Permi, I. Kilpeläinen, J. Ylänne, J.H. Hartwig, T.P. Stossel. Molecular Basis of Filamin A-FilGAP Interaction and Its Impairment in Congenital Disorders Associated with Filamin A Mutations. PLoS ONE. 2009; 4(3):e4928.

K.E. Kasza, D. Vader, S. Köster, N. Wang, and D.A. Weitz. Imaging techniques for measuring cell materials properties. Live Cell Imaging, 2nd Edition, D. Spector, J. Swedlow, and R. Goldman eds., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. 2009.

M.L. Gardel, K.E. Kasza, C.P. Brangwynne, J. Liu, and D.A. Weitz. Mechanical response of cytoskeletal networks. Biophysical Tools for Biologists, Volume Two: In Vivo Techniques, D. J. J. Correia and H. William Detrich III eds., vol. 89 of Methods in Cell Biology, Academic Press. 2008; 487-519.

K.E. Kasza, A.C. Rowat, J. Liu, T.E. Angelini, C.P. Brangwynne, G.H. Koenderink and D.A. Weitz. The cell as a material. Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2007; 19:101-107.

J. Liu, G.H. Koenderink, K.E. Kasza, F.C. MacKintosh, and D.A. Weitz. Visualizing the Strain Field in Semiflexible Polymer Networks: Strain Fluctuations and Nonlinear Rheology of F-Actin Gels. Physical Review Letters. 2007; 98: 198304.

L.J. Kaufman, C.P. Brangwynne, K.E. Kasza, E. Filippidi, V.D. Gordon, T.S. Deisboeck, and D.A.Weitz. Glioma Expansion in Collagen I Matrices: Analyzing Collagen Concentration-Dependent Growth and Motility Patterns. Biophysical Journal. 2005; 89:635-650.

K. Ladavac, K. Kasza, and D.G. Grier. Sorting mesoscopic objects with periodic potential landscapes: Optical fractionation. Physical Review E. 2004; 70:010901.