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 cytoskeleton molecules function together to build cellular architecture and their link to health and disease.


We have a particular interest in how motors shape cytoskeleton architecture. 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?


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


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September 2022: we welcome Conor Treacy and Jeraldine Weber as postdoc and PhD student respectively.

August 2022: we welcome Huey Ying Kok in the lab, joining as a research assistant.

July 2022: Thomas's work on pathogenic prediction of tubulin isotypes, in collaboration with Joe Marsch available on Biorxiv

May 2022: well done Toni for the work on Kif18b-EB-MCAK, finally out in JCS

March 2022: Ben's paper on CENPE motility is out in Open Biology. Congratulations Ben! 

September 2021: Julie receives the Patrick Neill Royal Society of Edinburgh Medal


July 2020: Our paper on how CENP-E gets to kinetochores through BUBR1 is out in JCS!

April 2020: Our review on CENP-E in mitosis is out

January 2020 PhD alumni Jovana Deretic gets a Marie curie Fellowship to study in Elif Firat lab

October 2019 New PhD student Leo joins the lab

August 2019 Thibault presents our structural work on CENP-E at kinetochores at the Dynamic Kinetochore Workshop in Paris

June 2019 Ben won the best poster prize for the Institute of Cell Biology at the Grad School poster day

March 2019 Thibault presents our structural work on CENP-E at kinetochores at the Spindle meeting in Croatia

February 2019 Toni presents our work on Kif18b at the Annual Biophysical meeting in Baltimore.

January 2019 We welcome Gaetan Dias-Mirandela in the lab

January 2019 Our paper on MCAK regulation by Aurora B kinase is out in JCS!

December 2018 Julie presents our work at the ASCB and chairs the minisymposium "Motors in transport and cytoskeleton remodelling"

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.


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