Jody Rosenblatt, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Oncological Sciences
Phone: (801) 587-4073
Fax: (801) 581-2175
Huntsman Cancer Institute
2000 Circle of Hope
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5550
The cells that comprise the epithelium are constantly turning over via cell division and death. For an adult tissue to maintain homeostasis, the numbers of cells that divide must match those that die. Epithelial cancers (or carcinomas) results when this balance is lost and too many cells accumulate. Our lab studies both cell death (apoptosis) and cell division (mitosis), focusing primarily on and the roles that the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons play in both processes.
On apoptosis, we have discovered a process for how apoptotic cells are eliminated from the epithelium without compromising the epithelial barrier function. Here, the dying cell sends signals to its live neighbors, which respond by forming an actin and myosin ring that contracts to squeeze the dying cell out.
On mitosis, we have discovered a novel mechanism for centrosome separation during spindle assembly. We have found that the two asters of the forming spindle separate by attachment to a moving cortex, which is driven by actin and myosin II contraction.
Cytoskeleton, epithelia, apoptosis, mitosis