Fei Li, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Biology
Institution
New York University
Address
1009 Silver Center
100 Washington Square East
City, State, Zip
New York, NY 10003
Phone
(212) 998-3746
E-mail
fl43[at]nyu.edu
Website
http://biology.as.nyu.edu/object/FeiLi.html
Research Field
Genetics
Award Year
2013

Research

The preservation of all species on earth depends on their ability to accurately pass on a complete set of chromosomes to subsequent generations. Each chromosome is made up of two identical DNA double helices called chromatids, which are held together by a centromere. The centromere plays a key role in ensuring that chromosomes are distributed evenly among daughter cells upon cell division. Defects in the regulation of centromere formation are catastrophic for cells, and result in the formation of cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes – the hallmark of many human cancers. Many features of centromeres are conserved between fission yeast and higher eukaryotes, including humans. We use interdisciplinary approaches, including genetics, cell biology, biochemistry and genomics, to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of centromere maintenance and chromosome segregation in fission yeast as a way to gain insight into similar mechanisms in humans. Our long-term goal is to understand how changes in the organized structure of centromeric chromatin can lead to cancer, with the ultimate goal of offering new strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.