Christopher J. Westlake, Ph.D.

Christopher J. Westlake, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Dr. Westlake’s laboratory uses advanced fluorescence and electron microscopy imaging techniques, biochemical approaches and zebrafish models to investigate membrane trafficking processes regulated by the Rab small GTPase family that are important in development and disease. His current work focuses on a Rab11-Rab8 cascade which functions in primary cilium formation and apical membrane formation in polarized cells. His lab is also investigating the role of Rabs in the regulation of ciliary Hedgehog signaling. Defects in primary cilium formation and function are important in ciliopathy, diseases linked to primary cilia dysfunction, and cancer.

Areas of Expertise

Membrane Trafficking
Rab GTPases
Primary Cilia


Selected Recent Publications

Male infertility-associated Ccdc108 regulates multiciliogenesis via the intraflagellar transport machinery

Huijie Zhao, Jian Sun, Christine Insinna, Quanlong Lu, Ziqiu Wang, Kunio Nagashima, Jimmy Stauffer, Thorkell Andresson, Suzanne Specht, Sumeth Perera, Ira O Daar, Christopher J Westlake
EMBO Rep.. February 24: 2022.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Akt Regulates a Rab11-Effector Switch Required for Ciliogenesis

Walia V, Cuenca A, Vetter M, Insinna C, Perera S, Lu Q, Ritt DA, Semler E, Specht S, Stauffer J, Morrison DK, Lorentzen E, Westlake CJ
Dev Cell. Jul 22:50: 229-246, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Investigation of F-BAR domain PACSIN proteins uncovers membrane tubulation function in cilia assembly and transport

Insinna C, Lu Q, Teixeira I, Harned A, Semler EM, Stauffer J, Magidson V, Tiwari A, Kenworthy AK, Narayan K, Westlake CJ
Nat Commun.. Jan 25:10: 428, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

In Vitro Modeling Using Ciliopathy-Patient-Derived Cells Reveals Distinct Cilia Dysfunctions Caused by CEP290 Mutations

Shimada H, Lu Q, Insinna-Kettenhofen C, Nagashima K, English MA, Semler EM, Mahgerefteh J, Cideciyan AV, Li T, Brooks BP, Gunay-Aygun M, Jacobson SG, Cogliati T, Westlake CJ*, Swaroop A* (co-corresponding author)
Cell Rep. Jul 11: 20: 384-396, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Early steps in primary cilium assembly require EHD1/EHD3-dependent ciliary vesicle formation

Lu Q, Insinna C, Ott C, Stauffer J, Pintado PA, Rahajeng J, Baxa U, Walia V, Cuenca A, Hwang YS, Daar IO, Lopes S, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Jackson PK, Caplan S, Westlake CJ
Nat. Cell Biol. 17: 228-40, 2015. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

There are no open positions at this time. Check back again later, or take a look at CCR's Careers page.


Staff Scientist
Quanlong Lu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Ipsita Saha, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Saurabh Shakya, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Wang Twan, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Qi Yan, Ph.D.
Ziam Khan



CCR News, June 13, 2019

Akt protein kinase pathway regulates key step in the initiation of cilia formation