I view myself as a fundamental cell biologist who is interested in biophysics, chemical biology and drug discovery. My group’s major tools are microscopy and biochemistry, and our work centers on microtubules, a system of dynamic protein filaments that spans the cytoplasm and physically organizes eukaryotic cells. Our group investigates fundamental mechanisms of cell organization, in particular how frog eggs divide, and how their cleavage plane geometry is specified. We also investigate the pharmacology of drugs that target microtubules to generate insights into the microtubule biology of adult human tissues. Current questions include, how does paclitaxel promote solid tumor regression, and how does colchicine treat inflammatory disease? A new direction in our group is investigating the microtubule biology of neurons, and the mechanism of slow axonal transport.

Awards and Achievements

  • Fellow of the Royal Society (UK) ( 1997)
  • President, Amercian Society for Cell Biology ( 2010)
  • American Association for Arts and Sciences ( 2010)
  • American Society for Cell Biology Porter Lecture ( 2014)
  • National Academy of Sciences ( 2014)