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Biophys Rev. 2018 Nov 17. doi: 10.1007/s12551-018-0482-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Building the contractile ring from the ground up: a lesson in perseverance and scientific creativity.

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Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 1051 William Moore Drive, Office: RB 254, Raleigh, NC, 27606, USA.


This contribution to the Festschrift for Professor Thomas (Tom) D. Pollard focuses on his work on the elucidation of the protein organization within the cytokinetic nodes, protein assemblies, precursors to the contractile ring. In particular, this work highlights recent discoveries in the molecular organization of the proteins that make the contractile machine in fission yeast using advanced microscopy techniques. One of the main aspects of Tom's research philosophy that marked my career as one of his trainees is his embrace of interdisciplinary approaches to research. The cost of interdisciplinary research is to be willing to step out of our technical comfort zone to learn a new set of tools. The payoff of interdisciplinary research is the expansion our realm of possibilities by bringing new creative tools and ideas to push our research program forward. The rewarding outcomes of this work under Tom's mentorship were the molecular model of the cytokinetic node and the development of new techniques to unravel the structure of multi-protein complexes in live cells. Together, these findings open a new set of questions about the mechanism of cytokinesis and provide creative tools to address them.


Cytokinesis; FPALM; Fission yeast; Nodes; Thomas Pollard

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