R. Bruce Nicklas

Arthur S. Pearse Professor Emeritus of Biology

Office: 
371E Biological Sciences Bldg., Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 91000, Durham, NC 27708-1000
Phone: 
(919) 613-8196
I am now retired and my lab is closed. In the past, we pushed chromosomes around by micromanipulation to learn more about chromosome movement in mitosis. We tugged on chromosomes to measure the forces produced by the spindle and chopped spindles apart to locate the motor for chromosome movement. Most recently we pulled on chromosomes to learn to connect cell mechanics with the molecular biology of a cell cycle checkpoint. The checkpoint monitors chromosome attachment to the spindle and helps ensure that the daughter cells get the right chromosomes. Pulling on chromosomes alters the phosphorylation of chromosomal proteins and it causes certain proteins to fall off the chromosome. These changes tell the cell that it is safe to divide. We wanted to understand how mechanical tension, whether from a micromanipulator's needle or from normal mitotic forces, leads to chemical changes in chromosomes and how those changes lead to proper cell division. I have also been interested in evolution, in particular the evolution of mitosis and the role of accidents as well as selection in the origin of species. I no longer serve as an advisor for undergraduate or graduate student research.

Education

  • Ph.D., Columbia University 1958

  • M.A., Columbia University 1956

  • B.A., Bowling Green State University 1954

Paliulis, LV, and Nicklas, RB. "Kinetochore rearrangement in meiosis II requires attachment to the spindle." Chromosoma 113, no. 8 (March 2005): 440-446. Full Text

Nicklas, RB, Waters, JC, Salmon, ED, and Ward, SC. "Checkpoint signals in grasshopper meiosis are sensitive to microtubule attachment, but tension is still essential." J Cell Sci 114, no. Pt 23 (December 2001): 4173-4183.

King, JM, and Nicklas, RB. "Tension on chromosomes increases the number of kinetochore microtubules but only within limits." J Cell Sci 113 Pt 21 (November 2000): 3815-3823.

Nicklas, RB. "How cells get the right chromosomes." Science 275, no. 5300 (January 31, 1997): 632-637. (Review)

Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 2006

(95-1032) Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 2000

(97-0692) Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 2000

(90-0714) Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1995

(92-0500) Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1995

(93-0521) Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1995

(94-0524) Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1995

(87-0130) Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement. awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1991

(88-0383) Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1991

(89-0427) Analysis and Control of Chromosome Movement awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1976 to 1991