Molecular motors are force-generating proteins that drive cellular movements, including movements of the spindle and chromosomes in dividing cells. Research in my laboratory is on kinesin motor proteins and how they function in the spindle to ensure normal chromosome distribution during cell division. We are currently trying to understand the mechanism of motor function – how motors use ATP to produce force and movement in cells – and the contributions by motors to spindle and chromosome dynamics during division.
A current project is to increase the mechanical output of a kinesin motor in the spindle in live cells. We have also designed a motor-force sensor to measure and report forces in the spindle.