Timothy J. Mitchison

Timothy J. Mitchison

Hasib Sabbagh Professor of Systems Biology
Timothy J. Mitchison
My lab is interested in the structure, dynamics, and function of the cytoskeleton. We use imaging-based assays in living cells and in vitro extracts, in conjunction with molecular biology and biochemical fractionation approaches, as well as theory and modeling. Most of the lab works on cell division in some way. One major focus is on the mechanism of mitotic spindle assembly in Xenopus egg extracts. We use a variety of imaging methods, including single molecule imaging, to probe protein localization and dynamics, biochemistry and pharmacology to perturb assembly, and theory/modeling to rationalize the results. We are increasing interested in an applied problem, cancer chemotherapy directed at the mitotic spindle. We are performing imaging and biochemistry experiments in different cancer cell lines to understand how current chemotherapy works, and how we might improve it. A key question is to understand differences between cell types in drug response. Part of the lab works on how the actin cytoskeleton is organized, during cytokinesis and also in the comet tails of Listeria, a pathogenic bacterium. Current foci include understanding monopolar cytokinesis, and the mechanism by which actin filaments turn over rapidly in the cytoplasm.

Contact Information

Harvard Medical School
Warren Alpert Building, Room 541B
200 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
p: 617-432-3805

Community or Program Affiliation