Trisha Davis (University of Washington)

The event will start on: Wed, Apr 02, 2014 | 12:00 pm
Location: Lewis Thomas Lab, 003 | Washington Road

MolBio Seminar Series


Trisha DavisTrisha N. Davis
University of Washington

Dr. Davis received her BA from UCSC in Computer Science and Biology and her PhD from Yale University.  Her thesis work, performed in the laboratory of Dr. John Cronan, concerned the assembly of a bacteriophage with an inner membrane.  During her postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Jeremy Thorner’s lab, she studied calcium signalling.  She has been a professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington for 26 years and was recently appointed the Earl W. Davie/Zymogenetics Endowed Chair of Biochemistry.  Dr. Davis studies how cells assemble and regulate the machinery required for accurate chromosome segregation.  She is also the director of a multidisciplinary technology development research center.

Seminar Topic

Chromosome Segregation by the Mitotic Spindle: Investigations at the Intersection of Molecular Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Structural Biology

How does the cell ensure transmission of an exact complement of chromosomes each cell division? How does this process go awry in cancer cells? These are questions of interest to our lab. We use a variety of techniques from single-molecule biophysical approaches to biochemistry, genetics and microscopy to explore the regulation and assembly of the machinery that ensures each daughter cell receives a full set of chromosomes every cell division. 

Chromosomes are segregated to daughter cells by a microtubule-based molecular machine, the mitotic spindle.  The spindle has two poles, each one carrying an exact complement of chromosomes to each daughter cell. Spindle morphogenesis requires spatially controlled microtubule nucleation.  The proteins required for nucleation are known, but they are surprisingly inactive in isolated form.  We are studying how these proteins are activated to nucleate microtubules during spindle formation and how their activation is regulated.

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