P. Todd Stukenberg, PhD
Chromosome segregation, aneuploidy, and tumorigenesis
The Stukenberg laboratory utilizes tools of cell biology, protein chemistry and molecular biology to understand how defects in chromosome segregation generate aneuploidy and promote tumorogenesis. A major focus of this research is on how kinetochores bind microtubules and how they resolve improper microtubule attachments. Recent results include identifying the Ndc80 complex as the long sought after proteins required to bind microtubules in the kinetochore. They have also identified key substrates of Aurora kinases that allow resolution of merotelic and syntelic microtubule attachments. Their work is identifying a number of new targets for drugs for chemotherapies and sensitization to other cancer therapies. This research relies heavily on the Center for Advanced Microscopy (CAM) and specifically the spinning disk Confocal microscope, which allowed high resolution live cell fluorescence imaging as well as the DNA Science Core (DNA) for all of our DNA sequencing, Hybridoma Core (HYB), and the Tissue Culture facility. In addition we have a pilot project grant from the Cancer center to examine the role of Ndc80 complex in cancer progression.
The lab has developed a system to biochemically examine kinetochores using the extracts made from eggs of the frog Xenopus laevis. At the heart of this system is a unique panel of 60 antibodies against Xenopus kinetochore proteins that we have generated.