3 January

Kim Laband receives EMBO Fellowship to study kinetochore signaling dynamics

Back to news

Kim Laband from the Kops group has received an EMBO Long Term Fellowship to work on unraveling the dynamic signaling from the kinetochore during the spindle assembly checkpoint. Dr. Laband obtained her PhD from the Institute Jacques Monod and University of Paris Diderot in Paris, France, after which she started working in the group of Geert Kops in June of 2018. During the pasts months she has started up her research project and thanks to the EMBO Fellowship she will be able to continue her investigation.

The Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC) is a cellular mechanism that provides feedback to the cell to make sure that the spindle is properly connected to all sister chromatids before they are segregated into the daughter cells during cell division. Spindle microtubules are connected to the chromatids through multi-protein complexes called kinetochores. While we have a considerable knowledge on the fundamental mechanisms of SAC activation and silencing, the way in which kinetochore complexity influences the SAC response is unknown.

Since the primary signal coming from the SAC are generated from protein phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, dr. Laband will study the dynamics of these processes in detail in human cells. To be able to do this, she will set up an elegant system in which the expression and kinetochore incorporation of wildtype and mutant forms of the same protein can be finely tuned in different ratios to enable studying the relative amount of functional protein needed for a certain process. Dr. Laband will use this system to study the dynamics of the mitotic kinase Msp1 and the phosphorylase PP1 in SAC signaling. In addition, this system will allow the study of virtually any protein as part of a complex environment in the future, leading to a more nuanced understanding of cell biology.