The London Research Institute research groups are based at Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Clare Hall. Our major research themes are: the biology of tumours and tissues, cellular regulatory mechanisms and genomic integrity and cell cycle.
Mark Petronczki : Cell Division and Aneuploidy
Our group is studying the mechanisms that control how cells divide in two, ensuring that each new cell receives the correct amount of DNA – its genetic instructions. If this process goes wrong, cells may get the wrong amount of DNA, which can lead to cancer.
When a cell divides, it first copies its DNA, then divides it equally between two ‘daughter’ cells. The final step in this process is called cytokinesis when the mother cell finally splits in two.
We are studying the molecular ‘motors’ that drive cytokinesis. They act like a belt tightening around the middle of the cell, causing it to split. We are studying cells grown in the lab to identify the proteins involved in cytokinesis, and discover how they work together to make sure cells divide at the right time and in the right place.
The team are also investigating how cells can end up with the wrong amount of DNA, as a result of mistakes in the cell division process. By understanding more about how this happens, our team hopes to find new ways to target cancer cells that don’t divide properly, or have the wrong amount of DNA. Their work could lead to new treatments for cancer in the future.
Qualifications & History
2004 PhD in Genetics, University of Vienna, Austria
2005 Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Austria
2007 Established lab at the London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK