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Asbury Lab (UW Physiology & Biophysics)
We are developing in vitro (cell free) motility assays using purified spindle components and bringing advanced biophysical techniques to the study of mitosis. Single molecule techniques have uncovered the working principles of classic motor proteins such as myosin, kinesin, and ATP synthase (responsible for muscle contraction, intracellular transport, and energy metabolism, respectively). However, these powerful techniques have scarcely been used to study the mitotic machinery. 

Biggins Lab (FHCRC Basic Science)
Chromosome segregation is directed by the kinetochore, a protein structure that assembles at a single site on each chromosome. We are studying the assembly and function of kinetochores, and the roles of certain genes that regulate kinetochores. We also study other aspects of chromosome segregation such as mitotic spindle assembly and spindle positioning, in order to better understand the multiple mechanisms that ensure cells get the right number of chromosomes. We use budding yeast as a model system because chromosome segregation is a highly conserved process.

Davis Lab (UW Biochemistry)
Much of our work focuses on yeast, where we have a nearly complete parts lists for the kinetochore and the spindle pole body, which is the functional equivalent of the centrosome. We use a wide range of approaches including genetic analyses, quantitative microscopy, biochemical assays and computational modeling. We are exploiting our ability to manipulate yeast genes at will to define the properties of the spindle pole body, which is the functional equivalent of the centrosome this central and essential organizer. We also apply what we learn in yeast to analyze the centrosomal and chromosomal abnormalities that occur in human carcinomas. We are studying the kinetochore as a molecular machine.

Shimamura Lab (FHCRC Clinical Research)
Our research interests are centered on understanding the molecular mechanisms contributing to hematopoiesis and tumorigenesis with the goal of extending basic research insights to the development of rationally designed therapeutic strategies.  We have focused on the inherited marrow failure syndromes, which provide unique insights into novel molecular pathways contributing to hematopoietic failure and malignant transformation.  Our research program extends from basic scientific studies of hematopoiesis and malignant transformation to clinical studies.  We utilize a wide range of approaches including molecular and cellular biology techniques, biochemistry, viral vectors, high-throughput screening assays, hematopoiesis assays, and mouse genetic models.

Wordeman Lab (UW Physiology & Biophysics)
Our lab studies an unusual class of kinesin-related motor proteins: the Kinesin-13 family or microtubule depolymerizing kinesins. This family comprises three unique genes in mammals: Kif2A, Kif2B and Kif2C/MCAK or Mitotic Centromere Associated Kinesin. Our research ranges from structural and molecular mutational analysis, in vitro live imaging to cellular and developmental behavior especially during cell division. The big picture is to understand how microtubule behavior is regulated to modulate cell shape, cell division and cell motility.



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