Cell division in human cells

Kinetochores and microtubules 

The Gruneberg lab 

Cell division is the fundamental basis for growth and development of an organism. Millions of cell divisions have to occur before an organism reaches its final size, and throughout the life span of an organism blood, skin and intestinal cells have to be constantly replaced by further cell divisions. High fidelity of cell division is therefore critical to prevent proliferative diseases, such as cancer.

Research in the Gruneberg lab is focused on understanding how equal chromosome segregation is achieved during mammalian cell division. Successful genome segregation requires the attachment of the paired sister chromatids making up each chromosome to spindle microtubules from opposite poles of the mitotic spindle. The correct attachment of the chromosomes to the microtubules via the kinetochores is extremely important for faithful chromosome segregation and is monitored by a cellular surveillance system referred to as the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC). The correct functioning of the SAC is extremely important as any errors during chromosome segregation can lead to aneuploidy, a known hallmark and driver of tumorigenesis.

A PhD position is available in the lab to study the molecular mechanisms safe-guarding genome stability during mammalian mitosis.