Utilization of large-scale genomic yeast modifier screens in the identification of unique genes required for chromosome segregation

Chromosome segregation is a fundamentally important process for human cells. When cells divide, they normally ensure both daughter cells receive one copy of each chromosome. But defects in this process can cause cells to lose chromosomes or receive extra ones. Inaccurate chromosome segregation can lead to diseases such as cancer. Despite the importance of this process, researchers are just beginning to identify and understand the genes and molecular mechanisms involved. Dr. Kristin Baetz is investigating the genes and mechanisms needed to ensure accurate chromosome segregation. Baetz is developing a genomic screen to identify unique genes in a genetic yeast model, whose genome and cell biology are remarkably similar to that of humans. Building knowledge about chromosome instability could lead to new treatments for common forms of cancer.