Dr. Courtney Schroeder received her B.S. at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry. Her main research interest in the cytoskeleton began when she studied a post-translational modification of microtubules in Dr. P. Todd Stukenberg’s lab at UVA. She then received a Churchill Scholarship and spent a year abroad earning an MPhil in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, she studied protein interactions that had downstream impacts on actin organization. Her PhD work in Ron Vale’s lab at UC, San Francisco triggered her current interests in using evolutionary analyses to inform cytoskeletal function. She did her postdoctoral work at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Dr. Harmit Malik’s lab, and during her postdoc, she used evolutionary analyses to uncover cytoskeletal diversification and fly genetics to probe the functional consequences of this diversification. She joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern in Nov. 2021 to start her independent group. 

Dr. Schroeder studies non-canonical cytoskeletal genes that are rapidly evolving between closely related species and have adapted novel biological functions. Her research group wants to know what drives this evolutionary diversification, which is found in both flies and mammals, and what are the biological consequences in fertility, development, and cancer. 


University of Virginia Main Ca (2009), Chemistry
Graduate School
University of Cambridge (2010), Biochemistry
Graduate School
Uni of California-Sfrancisco (2016), Biochemistry

Research Interest

  • Cancer
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Developmental biology
  • Evolution
  • Fertility
  • Structural biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Assembly of nuclear dimers of PI3K regulatory subunits is regulated by the Cdc42-activated tyrosine kinase ACK.
Clayton NS, Fox M, Vicenté-Garcia JJ, Schroeder CM, Littlewood TD, Wilde JI, Krishnan K, Brown MJB, Crafter C, Mott HR, Owen D, J Biol Chem 2022 Apr 101916
An actin-related protein that is most highly expressed in Drosophila testes is critical for embryonic development.
Schroeder CM, Tomlin SA, Mejia Natividad I, Valenzuela JR, Young JM, Malik HS, Elife 2021 07 10
A Burst of Genetic Innovation in Drosophila Actin-Related Proteins for Testis-Specific Function.
Schroeder CM, Valenzuela JR, Mejia Natividad I, Hocky GM, Malik HS, Mol Biol Evol 2020 03 37 3 757-772
Initial ciliary assembly in Chlamydomonas requires Arp2/3-dependent recruitment from a ciliary protein reservoir in the plasma membrane
Bigge BM, Rosenthal NE, Sept D, Schroeder CM, Avasthi P bioRxiv 2020
Meiosis: How Gambling Chromosomes Beat the Rules.
Schroeder CM, Malik HS, Curr Biol 2019 12 29 23 R1247-R1248
Kindr Motors Drive in Meiosis.
Schroeder CM, Malik HS, Cell 2018 05 173 4 813-815
Assembly and activation of dynein-dynactin by the cargo adaptor protein Hook3.
Schroeder CM, Vale RD, J Cell Biol 2016 08 214 3 309-18
How Dynein Moves Along Microtubules.
Bhabha G, Johnson GT, Schroeder CM, Vale RD, Trends Biochem Sci 2016 Jan 41 1 94-105
A Ras-like domain in the light intermediate chain bridges the dynein motor to a cargo-binding region.
Schroeder CM, Ostrem JM, Hertz NT, Vale RD, Elife 2014 Oct 3 e03351

Honors & Awards

  • CPRIT Scholar Recruitment Grant
  • UT Southwestern Endowed Scholar
  • UT System's Rising STARs Award
  • NIGMS K99 Pathway to Independence Award
  • Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship