Our research focuses on the activation and regulation of mitotic spindle assembly. The mechanism by which the centrosome coordinates mitotic microtubule nucleation with the cell cycle is still poorly understood. Data from our group suggest that this is a very localized event that may be monitored by the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC), also known as Mitotic Checkpoint. SAC is universally conserved in Eukaryotes and most of the genes involved, function in the same way from yeast to human. This system acts as cellular safety device to ensure that chromosomes are correctly segregated in Mitosis. It has actually been well documented that mutations in elements of the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint result in mis-segregation and aneuploidy and lead to tumorigenesis.
In our lab, we use the fission yeast Schizossacharomyces pombe as a model organism and we combine Genetics, Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry studies to investigate the molecular mechanisms controlling the nucleation function as well as identifying novel components involved in the process.