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Leading Lights 2012

Warwick Medical School Inaugural Lecture Series

Professor Jonathan Millar

Jonathan Millar

Date: 16 November 2012

Location: Lecture Theatre, Medical Teaching Centre

Time: Welcome reception starting at 11:30. The lecture will start at 12:00

RSVP: Register Here

A Cellular Life of S and M

The proper replication and segregation of chromosomes, the cellular structure into which DNA is packaged, is essential for cell proliferation in all eukaryotes. In humans, defects in chromosome segregation can lead to miscarriages, birth defects and proliferative diseases, such as cancer. Indeed the cells of most aggressive human tumours display a high variation in chromosome number (aneuploidy) and frequently lose or gain whole chromosomes during cell division when cultured in vitro.

The molecular basis of this chromosome instability is thought to arise in part from defects in normal cell cycle controls that ensure the equal segregation of sister chromatids to daughter cells. Notably, targeting the machinery that is responsible for chromosome segregation has been one of the most successful strategies for clinical chemotherapy. However, the development of drug resistance, peripheral neuropathy and neutropenia in patients remain an obstacle in the clinic, highlighting the need for more specific therapies.

I will describe our efforts to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms that govern the eukaryotic cell cycle, with the notion that these studies will help in the identification of new therapeutic targets in the fight against cancer.