Role of mRNAs in cell division and pluripotency; Neurodegeneration
2426 Genetics-Biotech Center Bldg
425 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Developmental Biology & Regenerative Medicine; RNA Biology
My research program examines the mechanisms that regulate asymmetric cell division. My ultimate goal is to understand how membrane trafficking events contribute to cell asymmetry and cytokinesis. The work in my lab integrates several approaches from genetics, cell biology, genomics and proteomics accompanied with high resolution in vivo microscopy to accomplish these goals. I use a combination of C. elegans and Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells to dissect the mechanisms that regulate asymmetric cell division during embryonic development. During the last 8 years, my research group examined (i) the role of membrane trafficking in maintaining anterior PAR polarity, (ii) the role of RACK-1 in cytokinesis and polarity, and (iii) sequenced the proteome of the mammalian (CHO cell) metaphase spindle. Our findings suggest that membrane trafficking and remodeling is tightly coordinated and maintained throughout the cell cycle to ensure proper cell asymmetry and division during embryonic development. Our immediate future goals are to gain an understanding of the molecular pathways that regulate membrane trafficking during cell asymmetry and cytokinesis. Currently, my lab is interested in the role the midbody mRNAs play in pluripotency and cell differentiation.