unknown-1Vanya Vasileva (Tanaka Lab) has won a prize for her poster presentation at the International Student Seminar 2014, which was held at Kyoto university The seminar for young researchers from all over the world, is organised by young researchers from the Graduate School of Biostudies, the Institute for Virus Research and the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Kyoto University.
The purpose of the ISS is to encourage and motivate young researchers, such as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, to internationalize through science. This year’s, theme was “No Life, No Science; No Science, No Life” to emphasise the wide range, central importance, and interdependence of biological sciences.
The title of Vanya’s prize-winning poster was ” A blindfold handshake: a long-distance relationship between kinetochore-derived  and spindle-pole microtubules”. (See abstract below)
She said, “This symposium made me realise once again that science is without boundaries, no matter how faraway we travel or how many different people we meet, science is the thing that brings us together. There is no greater prize than scientists of various backgrounds appreciating your work. Undertaking good science, I think, is all that keeps us going – the thought of doing something important and meaningful, not only for ourselves, but also for other people.”
Abstract. From yeast to humans, kinetochores (KTs) can nucleate microtubules (MTs). However, almost four decades into experimentation, little is known about the role of such KT-derived MTs. In budding yeast, these KT-derived MTs interact with spindle-pole MTs and then quickly disappear once KTs are loaded onto the lateral surface of spindle-pole MTs [1]. The appearance of MTs at the KT advances KTcapture, which suggests KT-derived MTs might facilitate the initial encounter of KTs by spindle-pole MTs [1]. In this regard, a “blindfold handshake” between KT-derived MTs and spindle pole MTs would explain the high efficiency with which chromosomes are located and captured by the mitotic spindle. In this work, we show how Stu1 (vCLASP) and Stu2 (vXMAP215/ch-TOG) regulate the nucleation and extension of KT-derived MTs. Understanding the molecular mechanisms promoting MT generation at KTs provides tools to specifically remove KT-derived MTs and to study the roles of the mysterious population of MTs at KTs.