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Daniela Cimini

Professor
  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • College of Science

Synopsis:

Research in the Cimini lab focuses on two major areas: (i) how the mechanics and dynamics of mitotic apparatus components ensure accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis; (ii) how changes in chromosome numbers affects cell division and cell proliferation.

Description:

Maintenance of a correct number of chromosomes is necessary for organismal development and survival. Animal cells maintain a correct diploid chromosome number by equally segregating their DNA (chromosomes) into two daughter cells at each division cycle.

When chromosome segregation does not occur correctly, daughter cells with abnormal chromosome numbers are produced. Abnormal chromosome numbers are a distinctive feature of cancer cells and such chromosome number changes are believed to contribute to cancer progression. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms leading to inaccurate chromosome segregation is critical for understanding the process of carcinogenesis and will be the starting point for the development of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment protocols.

The Cimini laboratory uses a combination of live-cell imaging, quantitative microscopy, and protein inhibition to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal cell division behaviors. To enhance the breadth and scope of their work, the lab often collaborates with engineers and mathematical modelers.