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Our Research

The goal of our research is to understand how proliferation of the cell, "Cell Cycle", is regulated in concert with developmental and homeostatic processes in multicellular organisms, with an ultimately aim to apply the knowledge gained to improve human health. By harnessing the powerful genetics of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, in combination with cutting-edge biochemisty and bioimaging methods and mammalian cell/tissue engineering, we are investigating molecular mechanisms that coordinate cell division with cell differentiation and tissue formation at multiple levels: from molecule, cell, tissue to organism.

Roles of cell cycle regulator proteins in cell fate decision

Metazoan cell cycle regulator proteins (CCRs) often possess molecular capacities that directly influence cell fate choice and/or subsequent differentiation processes, in addition to their cell cycle function. We are exploring novel functions of conserved CCRs in cell fate decision by tissue-specific genetic screens and proteomics and genomics analyses in Drosophila and mammalian cells.

Cell cycle regulation in cellular quiescence

It is poorly understood how metazoan cells make a decision on whether to continue dividing, or to stop to divide entering cellular quiescence, G0 phase, upon a withdrawal of mitogenic signals. We are investigating molecular mechanisms through which cells enter or stay in G0 phase in response to mitogen depletion in vivo or in culture, using Drosophila progenitor cells and human cells.

Crosstalk between cell cycle machinery and the centrosome

The centrosome is an organelle present in the majority of animal cells that regulates various cellular events, such as chromosome segregation, cell polarity, cell migration and intracellular transport, through microtubule nucleation. We are investigating molecular interactions between CCRs and centrosome components and the role of their crosstalk in organ development and genome maintenance in Drosophila.

LATEST NEWS

Our collaboration paper is out in Developmental Cell

In collaboration with Renata Basto’s lab (Curie Institute, France) and Gregory Rogers’ lab (University of Arizona, USA), we have published a new paper in Developmental Cell. In this study, we showed how the centrosome components, Plk4 and Spd2, direct the orientation of mitotic spindle by asymmetrically regulating the two centrosomes during the asymmetric cell division […]

Yuu’s Review is Published in Trends in Cell Biology.

Yuu has published a review article on the role of APC/C in cellular differentiation in Trends in Cell Biology. Here is the link: https://www.cell.com/trends/cell-biology/fulltext/S0962-8924(19)30044-3 For those who do not have a subscription of the journal, you can download an accepted version of the manuscript below:

Dr Obata’s visit

Dr Fumiaki Obata’s visit Dr Fumiaki Obata, Lecturer at the University of Tokyo and a friend who I got to know in the UK (Dr Obata was a postdoc at Alex Gould’s lab at tha time), visited our lab at ShanghaiTech University. Dr Obata is an expert in the study of the influences of diet […]

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The Team

Funding

We would like to thank our principal funder Cancer Research UK, as well as BBSRC and the Europan Commission for the research support we have received.

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