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

  • Caroline Laplante
Review
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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Cytokinesis FPALM Nodes Fission yeast Thomas Pollard 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Caroline Laplante declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.

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Copyright information

© International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary MedicineNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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