Ryoma Ohi, Ph.D.

Ryoma Ohi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

4150A Medical Research Building 3
(615) 936-7782


We study the biochemistry and cell biology of mitosis using a combination of in vitro assays, cultured cells, and frog egg extracts.
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Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
B.S., Vanderbilt University
Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School

Research Description

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.

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Selected Publications