Jay C. Gatlin, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Molecular Biology
Institution
University of Wyoming
Address
1000 East University Avenue
Molecular Biology, Campus Box #3944
City, State, Zip
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone
(307) 766-3498
E-mail
jgatlin[at]uwyo.edu
Website
http://www.uwyo.edu/molecbio/faculty-and-staff/jay-gatlin1/
Research Field
Cell biology
Award Year
2014

Research

My lab studies how cells control the machinery that is responsible for separating their chromosomes during cell division. When cells divide, their chromosomes are captured and then pulled into the daughter cells by a structure called the mitotic spindle—a machine made of long microtubule filaments that, in animal cells, radiate outward from structures that act as anchors, called centrosomes. Normal cells have only two centrosomes, each serving as a pole toward which chromosomes are pulled as the cell splits. Cancer cells, by contrast, often have extra chromosomes—and extra centrosomes. To generate a spindle that will correctly divvy up their chromosomes, cancer cells “coalesce” these centrosomes into clusters at two poles. Our aim is to combine artificial centrosomes with extracts derived from frog eggs and examine how different numbers of centrosomes affect the formation of a proper spindle pole. This work will yield insights into cancer cell biology that could provide a powerful new strategy for curbing the proliferation of cancer cells without harming normal cells.