Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

The Straight Lab's goal is to understand how chromosomes are faithfully transmitted during cell division. The laboratory studies the structure and biology of chromosomes and the mechanisms of chromosome segregation during mitosis. The primary site for chromosomal interaction with the mitotic spindle is a specialized region of the chromosome called the kinetochore. They are studying how the position of the kinetochore is determined along the length of the chromosome, how kinetochores are assembled, and how kinetochores are activated to bind microtubules and produce forces for chromosome segregation. They use digital microscopy to extract quantitative information about the dynamics of chromosomes in living cells, biochemical reconstitution to assemble kinetochores in vitro, and genetics to manipulate the chromosome segregation process in order to study how chromosome-distribution systems function in eukaryotes.