My lab is interested in the regulation of cell cycle progression and the mechanism of chromosome segregation in vertebrates. Defects in these processes can result in the formation of aneuploid cells which are a hallmark of many solid cancers. Thus, insights into the function and regulation of key cell cycle proteins will not only contribute to a better understanding of the mitotic and meiotic cell division but also how malfunctions in these pathways promote tumor formation in men.
HeLa-cells expressing GFP-tubulin and mCherry-H2B
For our studies we combine biochemical and molecular biological approaches with high resolution live cell imaging. In addition to these classical approaches, we apply small molecules to modulate the function of individual proteins in living cells. This approach termed Chemical Biology allows us to alter the functionality of proteins in cells in a fast and often reversible manner. Our model systems are human cancer cell lines and Xenopus laevis oocytes and embryos.
In particular, the aim of our research is to better understand:
I. The process of bipolar spindle formation
II. The function of molecular motor proteins in chromosome segregation
III. The regulation of cell cycle progression by ubiquitin ligases