In the Dawson lab, we study chromosome behavior in meiosis and mitosis. In order to function properly, cells must contain a complete set of chromosomes. Unequal distribution of chromosomes during cell division leads to cells with incorrect chromosome numbers. This can result in birth defects or promote tumor formation.
- What is the machinery that partitions the chromosomes?
- How does this machinery do its job?
- How does it fail?
These are questions that we seek to answer. We use yeast as a model for our studies. Yeast and humans use the same basic processes to partition chromosomes, but the yeast system allows us to quickly perform simple and direct experiments that would be more difficult using mammalian cells.