Title: Mitotic cell death: a mechanism to prevent and treat cancer 

Speaker: Paul Clarke  

ABSTRACT: Progression through mitosis is tightly controlled to ensure correct chromosome segregation to daughter cells. Defects in this process can result in aneuploidy and chromosome instability, which characterises many cancer cells. Normally, chromosome segregation is restrained by the spindle assembly checkpoint until all chromosomes have been properly attached to microtubules of the mitotic spindle, ensuring one copy is passed to each daughter cell. If a cell fails to satisfy the checkpoint, prolonged mitotic arrest can result in induction of mitotic cell death, which destroys the defective cell and prevents the propagation of aneuploidy. This mechanism is exploited by anti-cancer drugs that poison microtubules and block mitosis. Our work investigates the molecular mechanisms controlling progression through mitosis and the induction of mitotic cell death to improve anti-cancer chemotherapy.

BIOGRAPHY: Paul Clarke is Director of the Frazer Institute (formerly UQ Diamantina Institute), a leading translational medical research centre at The University of Queensland that focuses on cancer, autoimmune diseases, infection and immunity, and the genetic basis of disease. Professor Clarke became Director in 2017 and was previously Associate Dean (Research) in Medicine at the University of Dundee in Scotland, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester in England, and Research Fellow at the Cell Biology Programme, European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. Professor Clarke studied Biochemistry at the University of Bristol and undertook research for his PhD on the control of metabolism by AMP-activated protein kinase at the University of Dundee. He has also made contributions to understanding the control of mitosis by protein kinases and phosphatases, the coordination of mitosis by Ran GTPase and nuclear transport factors, and the control of apoptotic cell death through biochemical analysis of cells and cell-free systems 

About School research seminars

Seminars cover all aspects of chemistry and molecular biosciences and are delivered by visiting national and international academics. PhD completion seminars are also incorporated into the program.

Seminars are usually held in person and via zoom. All are welcome to attend.  



AIBN Seminar Room (Face-to-face only)