Prof Ciaran Morrison
Professor in Biochemistry
SFI Award

Postanna ar Fáil

Ábhair Spéise

  • Centrosome Structure
  • Control of centrosome number in cancer cells
  • Centrosome response to DNA damage
  • Centrioles and primary cilia

Achoimre ar Thaighde

Our research focuses on centrosomes, remarkable structures that organise microtubules in animal somatic cells.  They control bipolar spindle formation, regulate cell motility and polarity and also act as the base of cilia.  Centrosome abnormalities and amplification are common characteristics of tumour cells. Aneuploidy and chromosomal instability are highly correlated with the appearance of multiple centrosomes.  Supernumerary centrosomes can cause mitotic abnormalities, such as the formation of multipolar spindles, potentially giving rise to abnormal chromosome segregation.  Thus, centrosome amplification needs to be tightly regulated during the normal cell cycle.

Our group explores how centrosomes are assembled under normal and pathological circumstances.  Previous work from our group has demonstrated that DNA damage leads to centrosome amplification.  One goal of our work is to understand how DNA damage is signalled to the centrosome duplication apparatus and to define the impact this has on proliferating cells.  

A multipolar mitotic cell showing the problems caused by multiple centrosomes.  Microtubules are in red, chromosomes in blue and the checkpoint protein BubR1 in green.

We also explore how specific components of the centrosome contribute to DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoint activities.  Several key proteins of the centriole and the pericentriolar material are directly involved in control of the cell cycle, before and after DNA damage, and we want to establish how they carry out their different functions.


DNA double-strand break repair, cell cycle, genome stability, DNA damage response, cellular senescence, centrosomes, centrioles, cilia, cell signalling, reverse genetics, expansion microscopy.

Croítheichníochatí Taighde

  • Micreascóipeacht
  • Proteomics
  • Cell Culture

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