Report From Young Researchers "A research collaboration with Sir. Paul Nurse"(Dr.Kazunori Kume)

A research collaboration with Sir. Paul Nurse

Kazunori Kume

I’m a visiting scientist in Sir. Paul Nurse’s laboratory at The Francis Crick Institute and this research collaboration is supported by a JSPS Program for Fostering Globally Talented Researchers. Sir. Paul Nurse who is a director of the institute was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discoveries of protein molecules that control the division of cells in the cell cycle. He kindly admitted me to join his laboratory. I planned to visit his laboratory 3-4 times by the end of March 2020. I’ve already visit his lab twice: the 1st visit was from January 2018 to March 2018; the 2nd visit was from December 2018 to March 2019. I am going to visit his lab twice in 2019: June and December.

I am working on nuclear size control using a species of yeast Schizosaccharommyces pombe as a model organism in molecular and cell biology. Most eukaryotic cells have only one nucleus and the nucleus has important roles in genome protection and genome functions. We are interested in what determines nuclear size, how this is regulated during cell growth and the division and what is physiological significance of nuclear size control in eukaryotic cells. The first study of nuclear size was published more than 100 years ago but we still don’t know the answers of these questions. Interestingly, it has been reported that cancer cells and aged cells show nuclear expansion and abnormal nuclear shape phenotypes, indicating that a study of nuclear size control is one of important research topics and may contribute to understanding of cancer and aging.

I’ve started this research collaboration with Dr. Nurse since 2012. At that time, I was a visiting scientist in his laboratory at Cancer Research UK and worked there for 2 years. This was supported by a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow for Research Abroad. I have collaborated with him since returning to Hiroshima University in 2014. Every year, I attend his lab retreat and discuss with him and his lab members about nuclear size control.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Toda, Dr. Mizunuma, Dr. Kawamoto, Dr. Chihara, and other stuff of Hiroshima University for their understanding about this study abroad and support.