Beth A. Weaver, PhD

Dept: Associate Professor, Cell & Regenerative Biology
Contact: 6109 WIMR,
1111 Highland Ave
baweaver (at) wisc (dot) edu
Training Areas:
  • Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology
  • Cellular & Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Molecular Biosciences Training Grant
  • Physiology
Web Page Click Here


Research Interests

  • Chromosome segregation during mitosis
  • Effects of chromosome missegregation on tumors

Future research in the lab will focus on:

  • Genes required for accurate chromosome segregation;
  • The types of chromosome segregation errors that drive tumor promotion versus tumor suppression; and
  • The context-dependent factors that influence the effects of aneuploidy on normal cells and on tumors.

Honors & Awards

  • 2010 American Cancer Society University of Wisconsin Institutional Research Grant Award
  • 2006-2008 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Philip Morris Foundation
  • 2006 Brigid G. Leventhal Scholar in Cancer Research Award
  • 1999-2002 National Cancer Institute Training Grant

Lab Members

  • Eric Britigan, MCP graduate student
  • Lauren Zasadil, MCP graduate student
  • Jun Wan, Physiology graduate student
  • Channi Kaur, technician

Research Breakthroughs

We recently discovered the mechanism of action of the commonly used chemotherapy drug paclitaxel (Trade name Taxol®). For the 30 years paclitaxel has been used in the clinic, it has been thought to arrest patient tumor cells in mitosis, as it does cells in culture. However, we found that concentrations of paclitaxel in breast tumors are too low to cause mitotic arrest. Rather, cells divide on multipolar spindles, leading to cell death.

Selected Publications

For a full list, visit Dr. Weaver’s PubMed page

  • Zasadil LM, Andersen K, Ryan SD, Yeum D, Raines R, Burkard ME, and Weaver BA (2014). Cytotoxicity of paclitaxel in breast cancer is due to chromosome missegregation on multipolar spindles. Science Translational Medicine 6:229ra43. (This work was selected for F1000 Prime and highlighted on the cover of the issue, in Science News and in Cancer Discovery News.)
  • Britigan, E.M.C., Wan, J., Zasadil, L.M., Ryan, S.D. and Weaver, B.A.  2014. The ARF tumor suppressor prevents chromosomal instability and ensures mitotic checkpoint fidelity through regulation of Aurora B. Mol Biol Cell 25:2761-73. (This work was highlighted by the American Society for Cell Biology)
  • Wan, J., Zhu, F., Zasadil, L.M., Yu, J., Wang, L., Johnson, A., Berthier, E., Beebe, D.J., Audhya A. and Weaver, B. A. 2014. Golgi localized pool of the mitotic checkpoint component Mad1 controls integrin secretion and cell migration, Curr Biol 24: 2687–2692. (This work was highlighted in Science Signaling.)
  • Weaver, B.A. 2014. How Taxol/paclitaxel kills cancer cells. Mol Biol Cell 25:2677-81.
  • Hwang B, McCool K, Wan J, Wuerzberger-Davis SM, Young EW, Choi EY, Cingolani G, Weaver BA, Miyamoto S. IPO3 mediated nonclassical nuclear import of NEMO drives DNA damage-dependent NF-κB activation. J Biol Chem. 2015 Jun 9. pii: jbc.M115.645960.