​​Principle Investigator

Alisa Piekny

Current Lab Members

Daniel Beaudet (PhD cand)
Dilan Jaunky (PhD cand)
​​Imge Özügergin (MSc cand)
Karina Mastronardi (PhD cand)
Kevin Larocque (MSc cand)

Former Lab Members

​​Alexa Mariotti (MSc)
Chloë van Oostende, PhD (RA)
Denise Wernicke (PhD)
Eric Haines (MSc)
Husni Haji Bik (MSc)
Karina Mastronardi (MSc)
Madhav Soowamber, MSc (RA)
Michael Loloyan (MSc)
Melina Jaramillo Garcia (MSc)
Mena Kinal (MSc)
Neetha Makil (MSc)
Nellie Fotopoulos (MSc)
Paknoosh Pakarian (MSc)
Paul Frenette (MSc)
Tara Akhshi (MSc, RA)
Yun Chen (MSc)


MSc Candidate


BSc Cell and Molecular Biology (Dist), Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

Teaching Courses:

Biol 266 - Introductory Cell Biology (TA)
Biol 368 - Genetics and Cell Biology Lab (TA)

Research Interest:

The mechanisms that establish the division plane during cytokinesis are conserved across metazoans, and involve both stimulatory and inhibitory pathways. Cues from centrally-positioned microtubules of the mitotic spindle promote the accumulation of contractile proteins at the overlying cortex, whereas polar astral microtubules inhibit their localization at the poles. Anillin is a scaffolding protein that is required for cytokinesis by stabilizing the division plane, likely through its multiple interactions with active RhoA, actin, myosin, septins and the membrane. Our recent data suggests that anillin also binds to microtubules, which may reinforce boundaries between the equatorial and polar cortices by sequestering anillin from regions of the cortex that have low levels of active RhoA. To further study this, I am investigating how anillin’s interactions with RhoA and microtubules are coordinated during cytokinesis. Anillin’s interaction with microtubules also may stabilize or bundle centrally-positioned microtubules, since microtubules are lost near the equatorial cortex in anillin-depleted cells. Therefore, anillin could be part of a feedback mechanism where the cortex reinforces the position of microtubules that deliver positive cues to stimulate the recruitment of contractile ring proteins. To test this, I am using a combination of in vitro and in vivo assays to determine if anillin can bundle and/or stabilize microtubules. It is imperative to couple cytokinesis with the segregation of sister chromatids and cell fate determinants, since cytokinesis failures can be detrimental if they occur during development, or can give rise to genetically instable cells that are prone to becoming cancerous. Therefore, studying the mechanisms that govern cytokinesis can improve our understanding of how cancers form, and provide novel targets for chemotherapies aimed at blocking cell division. 

Email: dannybeaudet@gmail.com

Daniel Beaudet

CALL US  (514) 848-2424 ext. 5983
Alisa Piekny's Lab - Concordia University