Institute of Cell Biology Seminar Series


Seminars will be held on Mondays at 12.00 noon and Wednesdays at 12.00 noon in May

Lecture Theatre 1, Daniel Rutherford Building

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Semester Two:  January - June 2020




13 Jan 2020

Juan Mata

Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

Ken Sawin

20 Jan 2020

Professor Gopalakrishnan

Institute of Human Genetics, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

JP Arulanandam

27 Jan 2020

Cathie Martin

Department of Metabolic Biology, John Innes Centre

Andrew Hudson

3 Feb 2020

Patrick Meraldi

Department of Cell Physiology and Metabolism,

University of Geneva

Patrick Heun

10 Feb 2020

Marileen Dogterom

Department of Bionanoscience, Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology

Julie Welburn

17 Feb 2020

Francis Stewart

Biotechnology Center, Technische Universitä Dresden

Adrian Bird

24 Feb 2020

Marco Trujillo

Institut for Biology II, Department of Cell Biology,

University of Freiburg

Steven Spoel

2 March 2020

Patrick Cramer

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, MPG

JP Arulanandam

9 March 2020

Jose Jimenez

SynBio, University of Surrey

Jack Suitor

16 March 2020

Katherine Duncan

University of Strathclyde

Stephen Wallace

23 March 2020

Helen Saibil

Department of Biological Sciences, Birkbeck University of London

Lynne Regan

30 March 2020

Johannes (Wanne) Kromdijk

Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

Alistair McCormick

6 April 2020

No Seminar - Easter Holiday


13 April 2020

No Seminar - Easter Monday


20 April 2020

Jody Rosenblatt

Randall Centre for Cell & Molecular Biophysics,

King’s College London

Dhanya Cheerambathur

27 April 2020

Richard O’Connell

Fungal-Plant Communication, Biologie et gestion des risques en agriculture, INRA

Gary Loake


6 May 2020

WCB Seminar Speaker



13 May 2020

WCB Seminar Speaker



20 May 2020

WCB Seminar Speaker



27 May 2020

WCB Seminar Speaker


8 June 2020



15 June 2020

Lukas Kapitein

Cell Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Utrecht University

Dhanya Cheerambathur

22 June 2020

Jessica Downs

Institute of Cancer Research

Marcus Wilson

29 June 2020



Seminar details (including ad hoc seminars)

Date Event
27th Feb 2020
Michael Swann Building

Calvin Tiengwe, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London

Iron-dependent control of transferrin receptor expression in Trypanosoma brucei

Iron is an essential co-factor for many enzymatic reactions, but also potentially very destructive at high concentrations. Consequently, cells exert a tight control on intracellular iron levels. A prominent control nexus involves iron regulatory RNA binding proteins (RBP) binding iron responsive elements to modulate stability of mRNAs encoding major components of the iron-acquisition pathway, such as the transferrin receptor. This process has been studied in many systems revealing unique mechanisms in each, yet remains relatively poorly understood in T. brucei, a “neglected” pathogen that causes African sleeping sickness in humans and livestock. To understand how T. brucei controls expression of its transferrin receptor (TbTfR), we performed genome-wide transcriptomic and proteomic studies to identify parasite-specific iron-responsive factors.

The first half of this talk will cover functional characterisation of an RBP as a novel post-transcriptional regulator of TbTfR expression. In the second half, I discuss our initial attempts to use orthogonal organic phase separation (OOPS), a method first described by the group of Kathryn Lilley, to comprehensively capture the RBPome of bloodstream stage trypanosomes. Our ultimate goal is to characterise RNA-protein dynamic interactions involved in iron homeostasis in T. brucei.

Host: Atlanta Cook

23rd Jan 2020
Michael Swann Building

Camilla Bjrkegren, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Wellcome Centre Seminar - The Smc5/6 complex, DNA supercoiling and chromosome segregation

Cohesin, condensin and the Smc5/6 complex (Smc5/6) belong to the family of Structural Maintenance of Chromosome (SMC) protein complexes. By regulating chromosome structure and dynamics, these complexes influence chromosome replication, segregation, repair, and transcription. Cohesin is most well-known for its essential role in sister chromatid cohesion, condensin for its function in chromosome condensation, and Smc5/6 was first shown to control DNA repair and recombination. Chromosome segregation also fails in unchallenged cells lacking Smc5/6, but the reason for this remains mostly unknown.

To reveal the function of Smc5/6, we analyze the Saccharomyces cerevisiae complex in vivo and in vitro. The investigations show that the chromosomal association of Smc5/6 is dynamic and regulated by multiple factors, including chromosome length, sister chromatid entanglement, and transcription of convergently oriented genes. We also find that the purified complex promotes DNA decatenation by Top2, and compacts supercoiled DNA in a process that depends on ATP hydrolysis. Taken together, the results suggest that Smc5/6 function is linked to the level of supercoiling in chromosomal DNA. Results from these investigations, and their implications for the understanding of Smc5/6 function and supercoiling of the replicated genome, will be presented and discussed.

Host: Adele Marston

31st Oct 2019
Waddington Building

Claude Prigent, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes

Wellcome Centre Seminar - Aurora-A : much more than a mitotic kinase

Aurora-A has been discovered as a centrosome protein kinase. Its activity is necessary for mitosis, it controls the maturation of centrosomes, the G2 / M transition, the assembly of the bipolar spindle, the spindle assembly checkpoint, the assembly of the central spindle, etc. Aurora-A is also an oncogene and is overexpressed in many epithelial cancers. This over-expression is correlated with the aggressiveness of cancer. Claude Prigent is currently investigating how overexpression of Aurora-A confers an advantage on cancer cells.

Host: Bill Earnshaw