IMA Postdoc Seminar (December 11, 2007)

Speaker: David Odde (University of Minnesota)

Title: Models for mitosis: microtubules and motors

Abstract: After a genome is replicated, it must be properly segregated into the two daughter cells. A segregation machine, known as the mitotic spindle, moves sister chromosomes into proper position for their eventual parting. This machine is composed of linear polymers known as microtubules, which dynamically self-assemble via an energy-dissipating process known as "dynamic instability". I will discuss our Monte Carlo modeling of microtubule dynamics during mitosis as it occurs in the budding yeast. Through experimental testing of our models we found that molecular motors play a key role in regulating microtubule dynamics to properly sort chromosomes during yeast mitosis.