Ph. D. (1980) Pennsylvania State University
Molecular Mechanisms of Chromosome Segregation
The centromere is the region on the chromosome at which spindle microtubules attach during mitosis and meiosis. Proper function of the centromere and its associated organelle, the kinetochore, is absolutely essential for the transmission of the cell's genetic material. Research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding the molecular details of centromere structure and function. As a model eukaryote, we study the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have identified proteins which specifically bind to yeast centromeric DNA and are currently analyzing their possible roles as components of the kinetochore. Using "reverse genetics", we hope to isolate the genes encoding these proteins and begin a genetic analysis of the centromere/kinetochore complex. While our experiments are strongly biochemically oriented, we rely heavily on the use of recombinant DNA techniques as well as classical yeast genetics.