BBS Faculty Member - Timothy Mitchison

Timothy Mitchison

Department of Systems Biology

Harvard Medical School
Warren Alpert Building, Room 541B
200 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-432-3805
Fax: 617-432-5012
Visit my lab page here.

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.

Last Update: 8/22/2013


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Zhang X, Wang W, Bedigian AV, Coughlin ML, Mitchison TJ, Eggert US (2012) Dopamine receptor D3 regulates endocytic sorting by Prazosin-sensitive interaction with the coatomer COPI. Prc Natl Acad Sci USA. PMID: 22802617.

Mitchison TJ, Wuhr M, Nguyen P, Ishihara K, Groen A, Field CM (2012) Growth, interaction and positioning of microtubule asters in extremely large vertebrate embryo cells. Cytoskeleton. PMID: 22786885.

Tan ES, Krukenberg KA, Mitchison TJ. (2012) Large-scale preparation and characterization of poly(ADP-ribose) and defined length polymers. (2012) Anal Biochem. PMID: 22743307.

Dumont S, Salmon ED, Mitchison TJ. (2012) Deformations within moving kinetochores reveal different sites of active and passive force generation. Science. PMID: 22722252.

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