Centering the Genome: Why do chromosomes align during mitosis?
Dr. Jason Stumpff
May 1 at 12:20pm in the Fralin Auditorium, 102 Fralin Hall
Hosted by Dr. D. Cimini
Dr. Stumpff graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Eckerd College in 1998. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2004 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle with Linda Wordeman from 2005-2011. Dr. Stumpff joined the faculty in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Vermont in 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019. He is also a member of the UVM Cancer Center. Dr. Stumpff’s research has been supported by awards from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The March of Dimes Foundation, Susan G. Komen, and the NIH.
Chromosome alignment at the equator of the mitotic spindle is a highly conserved step during cell division. However, the function of mitotic alignment is not understood. We have generated mammalian model systems to explore the consequences of disrupting chromosome alignment both in vitro and in vivo. Alignment defective cells display an increased rate of micronucleus formation. Micronuclei contain chromosomes excluded from the main nucleus and are often used clinically as a biomarker for aggressive, genomically unstable tumors. Furthermore, micronuclei have been associated with extensive but localized DNA damage and tumor initiation. In contrast, we find that mice carrying mutations that disrupt chromosome alignment form micronuclei but are not predisposed to cancer. We are using a combination of in vitro cell culture and transgenic mouse models to investigate this apparent paradox.