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Rankin Lab

Research Interests

Cell Cycle, Cell Division and Chromosome Segregation.

Research Area

In the Rankin lab, we study the manner in which cells control the key events of cell division. When cells divide, either in order to develop new tissues or to replace aging or defective cells, a precise and highly complex series of cellular events must be carefully coordinated. This coordination ensures that newly forming cells inherit the appropriate components and thus are able to function properly. In the course of experiments developed to better understand the control of cell division, we have identified a novel gene that is necessary to ensure accurate chromosome segregation to newly forming cells. Because the chromosomes carry essentially all genetic information within a cell, their accurate segregation during cell division is critical. In addition, errors in chromosome segregation are known to play an important role in the development of tumors, making a better understanding of this process a very worthy endeavor. Our lab uses several approaches to understand further the regulation of chromosome segregation. These include biochemical analyses using extracts from eggs of the frog Xenopus laevis and time-lapse image analysis of cultured cells.

Current Members

Rankin, Susannah (Principal Investigator/Director)

Additional Information

I am interested in sister chromatid cohesion and how cell cycle progression coordinates this process. Though first observed and appreciated many decades ago, the mechanism of sister chromatid cohesion remains poorly understood. The study of chromatid cohesion has been hampered by several factors: features buried in the complexity of chromatin structure, inadequate assays, redundant mechanisms, and a lack of sequence conservation among species. We recently discovered a cell cycle-regulated protein, sororin, that is required for sister chromatid cohesion in vertebrates. In my laboratory we are investigating the mechanism of action of sororin and how it functions in the context of other known cohesion factors and activities. We are also pursuing a broad-based inquiry into sister chromatid cohesion and the effects of its failure on genome stability in higher eukaryotes.


Institution: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

Cell Cycle and Cancer Biology Research Program, MS 48
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK
73104, USA

Web Page:

Personal Fax: (405) 271-7312

Phone: (405) 271-8190