We are a group of scientists in the Bellini Building, roaming about on the 2nd floor, or toiling at a bench, or working away in front of a computer or the confocal, or drinking an expresso. Yeah, a herd of nerds- that might be the best way to describe us. Most of us are biologists, some are programmers, some are inclined to biophysics or math. Most of us are a bit of everything.
Face reality- we can't know everything
Beck really nailed the concept that we make do with what we have, because we have to, in his song "Missing" (Guero)
"something always takes the place of missing pieces you can takeand put together even though you know there's something missing."
Yes, there is uncertainty. Luckily budding yeast provides a
relatively simple system to study mitosis- a process for which we
still have a great deal to learn. Yeast cells have a very
economical cytoskeleton. One spindle microtubule is sufficient to
segregate a sister chromatid during anaphase. One cytoplasmic
microtubule can position the metaphase spindle with respect to the
future plane of cell division. Simple system, plus facile genetics,
facilitates high resolution analysis of mitosis.
We are most interested in:
- How microtubules and their associated proteins contribute to the successful execution of mitosis; from spindle formation to the completion of anaphase
- The control systems that govern microtubule function during the cell cycle
- For relevant proteins- e.g. proteins that influence the dynamic properties of microtubules- the relationship between a protein's structure and its function
We use a few approaches for every problem, as one never seems to be enough:
- Biochemistry, cell biology and molecular genetics
- High resolution (spatial, temporal) confocal microscopy
- Quantitative analysis of image data
- Genome scale assays, functional analysis
- Modeling and simulation
This includes undergraduates.
Eric Yen, Aaron Tsay, Jerome Waldispuhl, Jackie Vogel*. Exploration of the dynamic properties of protein complexes predicted from spatially constrained protein-protein interaction networks. PLoS Computational Biology (2014).