Lab Members

Andrew Bestul

Research Specialist I

Andrew grew up in the small village of Cleveland, Wisconsin and moved to the big city of Milwaukee where got his BSc in Biochemistry at Marquette University. In 2007, he progressed to the even bigger city of Chicago, venturing forward to the Cell and Molecular Biology program at the University of Chicago. There he was motivated by a young PI, David Kovar, who made the world of the actin cytoskeleton and fission yeast seem like the coolest thing the world. He spent the next 5.5 years in the Kovar Lab studying how actin-binding proteins had been modified over time to carry out their specific cellular roles. Upon completion of his PhD in 2013, he moved to Kansas City and joined the Jaspersen Lab at the Stowers Institute to study how the centrosome triggers mitotic entry, again in the fission yeast. In 2021, he transferred to the Zanders Lab, again staying with fission yeast as a model organism because it still is the coolest. Outside the lab, Andrew spends his time talking Wisconsin sports teams, eating cheese, watching birds and enjoying a good Lovecraftian book/game or two. He can be contacted at


Redistribution of centrosomal proteins by centromers and Polo kinase controls partial nuclear envelope breakdown in fission yeast.
Bestul AJ, Yu Z, Unruh JR, Jaspersen SL.  Mol Biol Cell. 2021;32(16):1487-1500. doi:10.1091/mbc.E21-05-0239. 

Molecular model of fission yeast centrosome assembly deterined by supperesolution imaging.
Bestul AJ, Yu Z, Unruh JR, Jaspersen SL. J Cell Biol. 2017;216(8):2409-2424. doi:10.1083/jcb.201701041.

Profilin reglulates F-actin network homeostasis by favoring formin over Arp2/3 complex.
Suarez C, Carroll RT, Burke TA, Christensen JR, Bestul AJ, Sees JA, James ML, Sirotkin V, Kovar DR.  Dev Cell. 2015;32(1):43-53. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2014.10.027.

Fission yeast frofilin is tailored to facilitate actin assembly by the cytokinesis formin Cdc12.
Bestul AJ, Christensen JR, Grzegorzewska AP, Burke TA, Sees JA, Carroll RT, Sirotkin V, Keenan RJ, Kovar DR.Mol Biol Cell. 2015;26(2):283-293. doi:10.1091/mbc.E13-05-0281.   

Actin filament bundling by fimbrin is important for endocytosis, cytokinesis, and polarization in fission yeast.
Skau CT, Courson DS, Bestul AJ, Winkelman JD, Rock RS, Sirotkin V, Kovar DR. J Biol Chem. 2011;286(30):26964-26977. doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.239004.