Microtubules are intracellular polymers that are required for several vital processes in eukaryotic cells including mitosis, intracellular transport and the maintenance of asymmetric cell shape. The goal of the research in this lab is to elucidate the mechanism(s) by which microtubules contribute to these diverse phenomena.
Current work focuses on understanding understanding mitosis, the process by which the duplicated genetic material is accurately segregated into two new daughter cells. Understanding mitosis is important because errors in the process result in cells with the wrong number of chromosomes, a situation that is commonly found in cancer cells. Our overall goal is to understand basic cell biology of mitosis to provide insight into this fundamental process. Ongoing work is directed at understanding the mechanism by which the mitotic spindle self-assembles from component parts as cells prepare to divide and how mitotic motor proteins that are critical for this process are spatially and temporally regulated. Current projects include using gene depletion and replacement strategy in mammalian cells to investigate motor protein regulation during spindle formation. In a second project we are investigating conserved and divergent features of kinesin 5 motors using both budding yeast and mammalian cells. The simple spindle in yeast also allows us to quantify motor localization by microscopy. In a new project, we are examining mitosis in Naegleria amoeba, an emerging model system. This work, in collaboration with the Fritz-Laylin lab seeks to identify fundamental features of mitosis.
Learn more at www.bio.umass.edu/biology/wadsworth/
- BS St. Lawrence University, 1977
- PhD Dartmouth College, 1983
- Postdoctoral Training: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1983-1986