The role of Fa2p in regulating microtubule severing

As an undergraduate student, Moe Mahjoub’s research findings on a gene involved in microtubule severing were published in the Journal of Cell Science, listing him as first author. Microtubules are thin tubes of protein and an essential element of the cell skeleton required for cell division and movement. Moe’s current research is directed at understanding how microtubule severing is regulated, using unicellular algae called Chlamydomonas. Microtubule severing is key to the algae’s shedding of flagella, or whip-like appendages, in response to a wide array of stimuli. This process has important implications for human health. For example, sterility can result when sperm shed flagella in response to ingested toxins. This research could help explain a range of diseases, including retinal degeneration, kidney disease and cancer.