Sabine Petry, Ph.D., performed her thesis research with Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (UK). She was involved in solving the first crystal structure of a classical translation factor bound to the entire ribosome, work that helped increase our knowledge of how translation factors drive protein synthesis in the ribosome. Sabine joined Ron Vale's lab at UCSF as a postdoctoral HHMI Fellow of the Life Science Research Foundation, where she pursued the study of a less understood and larger molecular entity, the mitotic spindle. Her research focused on understanding how microtubule nucleation is regulated in the mitotic spindle, which is poorly understood. It led to the discovery of a new microtubule nucleation mechanism, in which microtubules arise by nucleation from existing microtubules. Microtubule branching helps explain many unresolved aspects of how the mitotic spindle is assembled, and raises new questions about its role in building the microtubule cytoskeleton of the cell. Her lab combines high-resolution microscopy methods along with structural studies to study how the microtubule cytoskeleton builds cellular structures. She was recently awarded the prestigious NIH Pathway to Independence Award.