Office: Myers Hall 262
PhD. 1993, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Post-doc, University of California- San Francisco
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Executive Director, IU Light Microscopy Imaging Center
My lab is interested in the mechanisms by which cells divide their genetic material to the two daughter cells. We want to understand how cells assemble the mitotic spindle, how the cell aligns and then accurately segregates its chromosomes, and how these processes are regulated during mitosis. The accurate segregation of chromosomes is critical during development to avoid chromosomal abnormalities such as those associated with Downs Syndrome, and chromosome segregation gone awry is a hallmark of cancer.
Of prime importance during spindle assembly are the regulated dynamics of microtubules that occur during interphase and mitosis and how the dynamics of different populations of microtubules are both temporally and spatially regulated. We use a combination of in vitro assays for the regulation of microtubule dynamics with purified proteins, reconstitution of spindle formation using meiotic extracts from Xenopus eggs, and high-resolution live and fixed cell imaging of microtubule dynamics and organization in living cells in culture. This approach provides a framework to further decipher the molecular mechanism of spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. We ask questions regarding the multiple physiological roles of microtubules in cells, how their dynamics are regulated by cellular proteins, and how the activity of microtubule dynamics regulators are controlled temporally and spatially within cells. Our ultimate goals are to identify new molecular targets that can be used to treat a variety of diseases in which altered microtubule activity is critical and to develop drugs that can target these regulators.
Rizk, R., Bohannon, K., Wetzel, L., Powers, J.A., Shaw, S.L, and Walczak, C.E. (2009). MCAK and Paclitaxel Have Differential Effects on Spindle Organization and Microtubule Dynamics. Mol. Biol. Cell. 20:1639-1651. PMID: 19158381
Cai, S., O’Connell, Khodjakov, A. and Walczak, C.E. (2009). Chromosome Congression in the Absence of K-fibres. Nat. Cell Biol. 11: 832-838. PMID: 19525938
Cai, S., Weaver, L.N., Ems-McClung, S.C., and Walczak, C.E. (2010). Proper Organization of Microtubule Minus-Ends is Needed for Midzone Stability and Cytokinesis. Curr. Biol. 20:880-5. PMID: 20434340.
Stout, J.R., Yount, A.L., Powers, J.A., LeBlanc, C., Ems-McClung, S.C., and Walczak, C.E. (2011). Kif18B Interacts with EB1 and Controls Astral Microtubule Length during Mitosis. Mol. Biol. Cell. 22:3070-3080. Epub 2011 Jul 7. PMID:21737685.
Weaver, L.N., Ems-McClung, S.C., Stout, J.R., LeBlanc, C., Shaw, S.L. Gardner, M.K., and Walczak, C.E. (2011). Ki18A Utilizes a Microtubule Binding Site in the Tail for Plus-end Localization and Spindle Length Regulation. Curr. Biol. 21:1500-1506. PMID: 21885282
Heald, R. and Walczak, C.E. (2008). Structural and Functional Analysis of the Mitotic Spindle in Roles of Kinetochores and (Neo)centromeres in Cell Division and Tumorigenesis, Peter DeWulf and William Earnshaw, editors. Pg. 231-268. Springer, US.
Walczak, C.E., Cai, S., and Khodjakov, A. (2010). Chromosome Motility During Mitosis. Nature Reviews Mol. Cell Biology. 11: 91-102 PMID: 20068571
Ems-McClung, S.C. and Walczak, C. E. (2010). Kinesin 13s in Mitosis: Key Players in the Spatial and Temporal Organization of Spindle Microtubules. Sem. In Cell. Dev. Biology. 21:276-82. PMID: 20109574.
Walczak, C.E., Shaw S.L. (2010). A MAP for Bundling Microtubules. Cell. 142:364-7. PMID: 20691897.
Walczak, C.E., Rizk, R.S, and Shaw, S.L. (2010). The Use of Fluorescence Redistribution after Photobleaching for Analysis of Cellular Microtubule Dynamics. Methods Cell Biol. 97:35-52. PMID: 20719264