Bree Grillo-Hill

Bree Grillo-HillDirector of SJSU Bridges Stem Cell Center (SCILL)
DH 541

Grillo-Hill Lab


  • A.B. Biochemistry, Occidental College
  • Ph.D. Biology and Biomedical Sciences, emphasis in Developmental Biology, Washington University in Saint Louis

Courses Taught

  • BIOL135A "Eukaryotic Cell & Molecular Biology I"
  • BIOL30 "Principles of Biology I "
  • BIOL135L "Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory

Research Interests

The Grillo-Hill lab is working to understand how changes in acid levels inside a cell, also called intracellular pH, can change the behavior of cells. Cell generate acids as a result of normal cellular processes, and acid production can change in response to stresses or cues from the environment. This change in acid levels can cause the cell to behave differently, and we believe contributes to progression of diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. We are investigating how changes in intracellular pH change cell behavior, including: (1) identifying pH-sensitive molecules; (2) characterizing changes in protein biochemistry at different pH levels; (3) bioengineering fluorescent probes and tools to measure and alter intracellular pH; and (4) investigating pH dynamics during development and in disease states. We use a broad range of techniques to address our questions, including Drosophila genetics, mammalian cell biology, light and fluorescent confocal microscopy, and protein biochemistry.


  • K.A. White, B. K. Grillo-Hill, D. L. Barber. “Cancer cell behaviours mediated by dysregulated pH dynamics at a glance.” 2016. Journal of Cell Science (in press).
  • B. Ulmschneider, B.K. Grillo-Hill, D. Azimova, D.L. Barber, T. Nystul. “Increased intracellular pH is necessary for adult epithelial and embryonic stem cell differentiation.” 2016. Journal of Cell Biology 215 (3): 345.
  • B. A. Webb, K.A. White, B. K. Grillo-Hill, A. Schönichen, C. Choi, D. L. Barber. A Histidine Cluster in the Cytoplasmic Domain of the Na-H Exchanger NHE1 Confers pH-sensitive Phospholipid Binding and Regulates Transporter Activity. 2016. Journal of Biological Chemistry 291: 24096-104.
  • B.K. Grillo-Hill, C.-H. Choi, M. Jimenez-Vidal and D.L. Barber. “Increased H+ Efflux is Sufficient to Induce Dysplasia and Necessary for Viability with Oncogene Expression.” 2015. eLife 10.7554/eLife.03270.