When cells divide, the chromosomes must be replicated and partitioned equally into new daughter cells. How does this happen? How is accuracy achieved? Why does this process go terribly wrong in so many cancers? Why do chromosomes break when this process is disrupted?
We study how the identical copies of each chromosome are held together by a protein complex called Cohesin, and how cohesion between chromosomes is controlled so that it happens at the right time and place.
Here are some of the questions we are currently investigating:
- How is Cohesin modified to help hold sister chromatids together?
- How does cohesion promote repair of damaged DNA?
- The vertebrate system of cohesion is unique. Why?
- How does aberrant cohesion contribute to cancer?
Using live cell imaging and analysis, biochemistry, genetic studies, CRISPR technology, 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!