Cytoskeletal organization is essential for cell function. Microtubules alone cannot self-assemble. Motors play important roles to organize microtubules, regulate their length and transport cargos along them.  Our lab is finding out how kinesin motors are modulated by their cargos and tracks to provide a specific output, and how the coordinated activities of motors are greater than the sum of their individual activities.

 

Mitosis and the mitotic spindle are some of our favorite processes to study to understand cargo-motor function. 

The mitotic spindle is a bipolar structure composed of highly dynamic microtubule polymers. The formation and maintenance of the bipolar spindle and chromosome alignement and segregation during mitosis are critical to maintaining genomic integrity. Several of the mitotic motors are key to controlling these processes and therefore prime candidates as anti-cancer drug targets.

 

We are also interested in microtubule organization in other cell types. What can they teach us about design principles for biological function?


Our goal is to define how microtubule motors transport and cooperate with their cargos and their microtubule tracks.

Our favorite cargos are:

  1. other motors and regulatory proteins
  2. Chromosomes that need to be moved along the spindle

We  use a holistic mechanistic approach ranging from structural biology to single molecule imaging and quantitative cell biology.


 

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November 2018 is a busy month for us. Our paper describing a method to identify Aurora kinase substrates is online. SPICE1 is one of them. Click here to read it.

November 2018 Read our latest review of Kinesin-13 mechanism Click here

November 2018   Julie is one of 26 international young scientists to receive the EMBO Young Investigator award! Click here for more information

September 2018 We say goodbye to Jovana and welcome to our new Precision Medicine PhD student Thomas Attard, jointly supervised with Jo Marsh, IGMM. Welcome also to our Chemistry final year student Emma Andrews who comes to the lab for her Honours project.

August 2018 Julie's SRF starts. With her first SRF salary, Julie takes the lab out to the Grainstore restaurant!

July 2018 Our paper on the regulation of spindle positioning and microtubule length is out at JCB and is open access!

March 2018 The Welburn Lab attended the Dynamic Cell conference in Manchester.  It was a great meeting and Agata won a prize for her poster on Kif18b and spindle positioning! 

 

 

January 2018. Lab retreat 2018 with Okhura lab. We discussed creativity in the context of science and outside the lab. This was followed by a competitive game of netball.

Netball

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