Senior Vice President and Director
Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutch
Dr. Sue Biggins directs the Basic Sciences Division and conducts research on how cells sort chromosomes, the molecules that carry DNA. Every time a cell divides, it must copy each chromosome and make sure that both daughter cells inherit exactly one copy of each. The wrong number of chromosomes is the most common chromosomal abnormality in cancers and the cause of birth defects and other diseases.
Dr. Biggins' work focuses on understanding how cells regulate division and chromosome movement during cell division to ensure accurate self-renewal, proliferation and development. Her lab takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines biochemical, biophysical, cell biological, genetic and structural approaches using yeast and human cells as model systems. Dr. Biggins led the team that originally isolated the kinetochore, the large molecular machine that coordinates chromosome sorting, from yeast cells. This accomplishment paved the way for critical new findings, including the role that tension plays in chromosome sorting.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Ph.D., Princeton University
B.S., Stanford University
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