We are interested in chromosome dynamics and how they are regulated. We are particularly interested in how one protein complex, Cohesin, is able to both compact chromosomes into nuclei by forming loops and domains, while at the same time it is also able to tether together the identical copies of each chromosome that are made during DNA replication.
Here are some of the questions we are currently investigating:
- How are sister chromosome tethering and chromosome folding by cohesin integrated during cell cycle progression?
- How is accuracy acheived?
- How does cohesin act only at the right time and place?
- How is cohesin regulated so that the transcriptional landscape responds to changing cellular requirements?
- How is cohesin controlled to allow or enhance DNA repair?
- How exactly does aberrant cohesion contribute to cancer?
Using a combination of live cell imaging and analysis, biochemistry, genetic studies, genomic approaches, and whatever else we can think of, we are trying to answer these fundamental questions in Cell Biology.
The Rankin lab is located on the third floor of the Bell Building on the OMRF campus. We interact and collaborate with other labs in our department, the Program in Cell Cycle and Cancer Biology. Come by and see us!