-Three papers on brain organoids (EMBO Journal 2016, Cell Stem Cell 2017 and JoVE 2017)
-Technical assistant and a Ph.D positions are available
-Jay gives a talk on link between Zika virus-induced microcephaly and genetically caused microcephaly at ESHG, Copenhagen, May 27th 2017.
We are fascinated in dissecting the biochemical mechanisms of centrosome and cilium biogenesis and study the diseases arise due to thier abnormal functions.
We currently focus on brain development and model microcephaly and cortical abnormalities. These disorders arise due to loss of function. Another disease-relevant focus is to study the cancer development due to excessive number and function of centrosomes.
What are centrosomes and cilia?
Centrosomes are conserved eukaryotic cellular structures composed of a pair of centrioles surrounded by an amorphous Peri-Centriolar Material (PCM) formed by various multi-protein complexes. The centriole templates cilia formation during interphase, while the PCM assembles spindle poles during mitosis to nucleate astral and spindle microtubules (MT asters).
Thus, centrosomes are critical for animal development and their dysfunction results in many developmental disorders.
In addition, nearly all types of cancer cells have abnormal numbers of centrosomes and the abnormal number of centrosomes has a direct correlation to chromosomal instability during tumor formation. Thus, it is very important for biology and medical science to understand the regulatory mechanisms of centrosome biogenesis.
Our aim to understand the basic principles of centrosome / cilia biogenesis by studying thier biochemistry. After learnt the basic principles of biogenesis in healthy cells, we test them in disorders and diseases in which centrosomes and cilia are dereguated.
Our major area of reserach and model systems:
Centrosome and cilia biochemistry. We use Drosphila as a model system. Our expertise is to combine the powerful genetics of Drosphila with biochemistry and structural biology. In addition, we use ciliated human cells.
Brain development and microcephaly. We use 3D human brain organoid models to study how centrosome and cilia regulate neural stem cell maintenance.
Chemical biology of centrosomes and cilia in controlling cancer cell proliferation. We aim to target the basic cellular mechanisms to control cancer cellular proliferation using small molecules.
Browse through the major reserach focus centered around centrosomes and cilia (at left).