Research: My interests revolve broadly around cell biology and development in the fission yeast. Yeast offers the advantage of well-developed genetics and ease of cloning of genes. Following the completion of a number of full genome sequences including that of fission yeast, findings can often be rapidly translated to mammalian or plant systems. The projects in the lab range widely from pure genetics to molecular biology, biochemistry or digital imaging. The strength of a genetic system such as yeast is the ability to move easily from one approach to another and to bring all to bear on an interesting problem in biology.
My major area of interest is cell cycle control. Yeast systems have led in defining the basic paradigm of eukaryotic cell cycle control (Nobel prizes to P. Nurse, T. Hunt and L. Hartwell in 2001 for this work) and in continuing to find new elements in the puzzle. Many of the proteins discovered to play a role in yeast have their direct mammalian counterparts. Projects in the lab focus especially on the mitotic control and the way in which external information such as nutritional status bears on its regulation. In addition we are investigating checkpoint pathways which serve to arrest major events of the cell cycle when earlier events are incomplete or not executed properly.
A second area of interest is ion transport and pH regulation in cells. We have studied the sodium/protein antiporter from fission yeast and are currently involved in investigating related transporters and regulators. A recent interest is to examine pH regulation and its coupling (or lack of it) to the cell cycle and the way in which a cell establishes an internal pH setpoint.
Some Recent Publications: