Kathleen Scheffler Postdoctoral Research Associate
Ever since the beginning of my scientific career, I have been fascinated by dynamic cellular processes that underpin cell division and differentiation. In particular, I have great interest in the function of the microtubule and actin cytoskeletons in key biological events including nuclear positioning and chromosome segregation.
As an undergraduate, I studied biology at the Technical University of Dresden and completed my diploma/masters in the lab of Dr. Takashi Toda at Cancer Research UK in London. During my Master training, I explored the role of a conserved kinetochore protein in maintaining kinetochore-microtubule attachments and mitotic spindle integrity in fission yeast, which are essential for accurate chromosome segregation. I then went on to do my PhD training in the lab of Dr. Phong Tran at Institute Curie in Paris during which I investigated the fission yeast microtubule cytoskeleton and forces exerted by its associated molecular machines to drive nuclear migration. In this highly genetically-tractable model system, I also defined a novel factor required for microtubule-dependent cell morphogenesis.
More recently, I have become intrigued by functional cytoskeletal interactions between actin and microtubules and extended the expertise I gained from my PhD training to understanding the process of pronuclear migration in mammalian embryos, which is vital to healthy embryogenesis. During my postdoctoral studies in Dr. Melina Schuh’s lab in the MRC-LMB in Cambridge and the MPI-BPC in Goettingen, I combined a wide array of molecular biology methods with advanced microscopy techniques including high-resolution live cell imaging to address new mechanisms of nuclear positioning in early mouse embryos. I joined Binyam’s lab in early 2019 to further pursue cytoskeletal interactions that control chromosome segregation in mammalian oocytes and early mouse embryos. My position in Binyam’s lab is a great opportunity for me to strengthen my recently acquired techniques in mouse oocyte and embryo cultures while exploring new and exciting cutting-edge science in the fields of mammalian meiosis and embryonic development.