Professor of Molecular Biology
Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Molecular Biology
Zemer Gitai is a Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from MIT in 1996. After completing his graduate studies at UCSF in 2002, Dr. Gitai became a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Lucy Shapiro at Stanford University where he pioneered the study of the MreB actin-like cytoskeleton in Caulobacter crescentus. Dr. Gitai joined the faculty of Princeton University as an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology in 2005. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2012. He is currently the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Molecular Biology.
Dr. Gitai's research focuses on the cell biology of bacteria. His lab studies how cells self-organize across spatial scales, using quantitative, molecular, and engineering approaches to understand to understand problems such as cell shape formation, cytoskeletal function, metabolic organization, and community structure. Dr. Gitai has published over 40 original articles in leading journals, including Cell, Molecular Cell, Nature Cell Biology, and PNAS. His work discovered new components of the bacterial cytoskeleton, new functions for bacterial polymers in metabolism, compartmentalization, and chromosome dynamics, and established the importance of protein assembly for unexpected processes like metabolism and pathogenesis. Dr. Gitai's achievements have been recognized by many prestigious awards, including the NIH New Innovator Award, the Beckman Young Investigator Award, and the HFSP Young Investigator Award.