We investigate the biology of cells that are arrested in mitosis. Anti-mitotic drugs used in the treatment of cancer arrests cells in mitosis, however the fate of these cells is unclear. These mitotically arrested cells can be driven toward cell death, yet the mechanisms regulating this are not understood. Alternatively, cells can escape mitotic arrests. This is often accompanied by chromosomal mis-segregation. High levels of mis-segregation can reduce the fitness of cells, whereas lower levels of mis-segregation can contribute to chromosomal instability, allowing cancer cells to evade treatment and potentially lead to cancer development. It is unclear under what conditions cell escape mitotic arrests, or why different anti-mitotic drugs cause different rates of mitotic arrest escape.
To understand when best to use anti-mitotic drugs clinically, and to identify novel drug targets, it is important that we understand how the fate of mitotically arrested cells are determined. We investigate this utilising a wide array of techniques including: optogenetics, CRISPR, live and fixed cell imaging, and proteomics.