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Speaker: Dr Philip Auckland, Kings Prize Fellowship Research Fellow, The Randall
Host: Franca Fraternali
Mitosis is absolutely essential for the growth and homeostasis of eukaryotes, yet we lack a comprehensive understanding of how it directly contributes to early human development. This is, in part, due to the use of terminally differentiated cells or fertilised embryo models, which miss several developmental events that organise the embryo’s cellular landscape in time and space. One such event is gastrulation, in which pluripotent stem cells undergo a dynamic structural and functional rearrangement ~2 weeks after fertilisation to form the three primary germ layers. Here, I will present how I plan to integrate my previous work to understand how mitosis supports tissue patterning in gastrulating human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Specifically, I will first explore how centromeres form dynamic, force-generating attachments to spindle microtubules that facilitate chromosome movement; then, I will discuss recent work on mitosis-specific signalling events that may drive asymmetric cell divisions in gastrulating hESCs.
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