During cell division, chromosomes must be accurately segregated to daughter cells. Errors during this process are an underlying cause of genetic abnormalities such as birth defects and cancer progression in humans. Our lab focuses on the role of the centromere, an essential locus that is required for chromosome captureand poleward movement by spindle microtubules. Our goal is to understand how centromeres are specified and inherited and how cells ensure that one-and only one- centromere is present on each chromosome. We are also interested in the evolutionary forces that shape centromere-binding proteins and centromeric DNA. We use the simple fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model, taking full advantage of its genetic tools, genomic data, and beautiful cell biology.
Centromere specification and evolution mechanisms
Role of centromeric chromatin, DNA, and RNA
Centromere dysfunction and aneuploidy
Our research is currently funded by the NIH-NIGMS. We also acknowledge previous support from the NSF.