We study the biochemistry and cell biology of mitosis using a combination of in vitro assays, cultured cells, and frog egg extracts.
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
B.S., Vanderbilt University
Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School
Our group studies animal cell division. During this process, the microtubule cytoskeleton is organized into a transient structure called the mitotic spindle. This apparatus attaches replicated chromosomes via kinetochores and generates forces that power the division of chromosomes among two daughter cells. We apply a multidisciplinary approach to examine the process of mitotic spindle assembly and the interface between kinetochores and microtubules. We use quantitative light microscopy to investigate protein behavior in the mitotic spindle, biochemistry to understand the function of key mitotic regulators, and small molecules to perturb spindle function. Our long term goal is to use our findings to develop new anti-mitotic oncological therapies. Currently, our lab is studying how several families of kinesin-like proteins impact spindle assembly and function in animal cells. We are particularly interested in the roles of the kinesin-8s at spindle microtubule plus-ends, the mechanisms by which the kinesin-5 and kinesin-12 motors enforce spindle bipolarity, and the roles of kinesin-13s during cytokinesis.
- Stumpff J, Du Y, English CA, Maliga Z, Wagenbach M, Asbury CL, Wordeman L, Ohi R. A tethering mechanism controls the processivity and kinetochore-microtubule plus-end enrichment of the kinesin-8 Kif18A. Molecular cell. 2011 Sep 2;43(5). 764-75. PMID: 21884977 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC3172727. NIHMSID: NIHMS317802.
- Du Y, English CA, Ohi R. The kinesin-8 Kif18A dampens microtubule plus-end dynamics. Current biology : CB. 2010 Feb 23;20(4). 374-80. PMID: 20153196 [PubMed].