Sophie Dumont, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
The spindle is the machine that segregates chromosomes at cell division. To perform its job, it must be flexible and dynamic over short timescales, and yet maintain its mechanical integrity over long timescales. How it does so is not understood. How do the spindle's nanometer-scale parts self-organize to form its micron-scale architecture, and how do robust mechanics and function emerge? I will describe our recent efforts combining biophysics and cell biology to address this question. Our work paints a picture of highly mechanically robust cell division machinery, unmatched in its performance by anything we can currently build.