Herbert Geller, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Developmental Neurobiology


50 South Dr
Bethesda, MD 20814
United States



Research Topics

Research in the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, headed by Dr. Herbert Geller, is focused on understanding how extracellular signals provide guidance cues to axons. Our primary focus is on signals derived from the extracellular matrix, especially proteoglycans, as well as responses of growing neurons to biophysical properties of their environment, such as substrate stiffness. Our overall goal is to improve recovery of function following brain or spinal cord injury. This involves use of all methods of modern biology, including light and electron microscopy, including multi-photon and superresolution microscopy, cell biology, including proteomics, constrol of gene expression using CRISPR/Cas systems, and animal models.

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Herbert Geller graduated with a Ph.D.in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and was Postdoctoral Fellow in Physiology at the University of Rochester. He was a Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Neurology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey before moving to NIH in 2001. Dr. Geller has authored or co-authored more than 150 papers, and he sits on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience and the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. At NIH, he has been a mentor in the Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program. His former trainees have gone onto careers in Academia, Industry and Government. Dr. Geller is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2018, Dr. Geller was awarded the Bernice Grafstein Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Mentoring from the Society for Neuroscience.

Selected Publications

  1. Katagiri Y, Morgan AA, Yu P, Bangayan NJ, Junka R, Geller HM. Identification of novel binding sites for heparin in receptor protein-tyrosine phosphatase (RPTPσ): Implications for proteoglycan signaling. J Biol Chem. 2018;293(29):11639-11647.
  2. Pearson CS, Mencio CP, Barber AC, Martin KR, Geller HM. Identification of a critical sulfation in chondroitin that inhibits axonal regeneration. Elife. 2018;7.
  3. Yu P, Agbaegbu C, Malide DA, Wu X, Katagiri Y, Hammer JA, Geller HM. Cooperative interactions of LPPR family members in membrane localization and alteration of cellular morphology. J Cell Sci. 2015;128(17):3210-22.
  4. Dickendesher TL, Baldwin KT, Mironova YA, Koriyama Y, Raiker SJ, Askew KL, Wood A, Geoffroy CG, Zheng B, Liepmann CD, Katagiri Y, Benowitz LI, Geller HM, Giger RJ. NgR1 and NgR3 are receptors for chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans. Nat Neurosci. 2012;15(5):703-12.
  5. Wang H, Katagiri Y, McCann TE, Unsworth E, Goldsmith P, Yu ZX, Tan F, Santiago L, Mills EM, Wang Y, Symes AJ, Geller HM. Chondroitin-4-sulfation negatively regulates axonal guidance and growth. J Cell Sci. 2008;121(Pt 18):3083-91.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Thursday, February 9, 2023