Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dileep Varma Lab

About Our Lab

Accurate chromosome segregation requires the successful and error-free association between kinetochores of the chromosomes and the plus-ends of microtubules of the mitotic spindle. Errors in this event lead to chromosome loss and aneuploidy which is a hallmark of cancer cells and leads to birth defects during human embryonic development. Research in the past several years has provided conclusive evidence that the Ndc80 kinetochore complex is crucial for this process but we still do not clearly understand how this complex is coupled to dynamic microtubule plus-ends during mitotic metaphase and anaphase in vertebrate cells.

We also do not have an accurate picture of how the kinetochore microtubule attachment mechanisms are coordinated seamlessly with the spindle assembly checkpoint, the essential surveillance mechanism that controls the fidelity of the chromosome segregation process. Studying the intricacies of these mutually linked phenomena will not only provide valuable information pertaining to the understanding of cancer initiation and progression but also lead to the identification of novel biomarkers and targets which in turn is likely to yield better diagnostic and therapeutic tools to combat this dreaded disease.

Recent Publications

Combining mitotic cell synchronization with high-resolution confocal microscopy to study the role of multi-functional cell cycle proteins during mitosis.
Amin MA and Varma D.
J Vis. Exp., 2017 (in press), e56513, doi:10.3791/56513.

Targeting mitotic pathways for endocrine-related cancer therapeutics.
Agarwal S and Varma D.
Endocrine-related Cancer. 2017, June, 24(9), T65-T82
PMID: 28615236

The RZZ complex requires the N-terminus of KNL1 to mediate optimal Mad1 kinetochore localization in human cells.
Caldas GV, Lynch TR, Anderson R, Afreen S, Varma D*, DeLuca JG*.
Open Biol. 2015 Nov;5(11). pii: 150160.

How the SAC gets the axe: Integrating kinetochore microtubule attachments with spindle assembly checkpoint signaling.
Agarwal S, Varma D.
Bioarchitecture. 2015 Oct 2:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]

Sequential replication-coupled destruction at G1/S ensures genome stability.
Coleman KE, Grant GD, Haggerty RA, Brantley K, Shibata E, Workman BD, Dutta A, Varma D, Purvis JE, Cook JG. 
Genes Dev. 2015 Aug 15;29(16):1734-46. doi:10.1101/gad.263731.115. Epub 2015 Aug 13.

Cell division: Molecular pathways for KMN kinetochore recruitment
Afreen S., Vama D.
Curr Biol. 2015 Apr 20;25(8):R332-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.041.
PMID: 25898103

View all publications


    09.01.17 - Amin’s JoVE manuscript is accepted

    08.01.17 - New Tech, Melissa, joins the lab

    06.15.17 - Shivani’s Cancer review is accepted

    01.01.17 - Master’s student Yu and Yiyi joins

    08.31.16 - Natasha’s last day

    06.15.2016 - Suchi's last day

    04.01.2016 -  Summer intern Natasha joins the lab

    11.05.2015 - Sana/Dileep Open Biology paper published

    10.02.2015 - Shivangi/Dileep Bioarchitecture review published

    09.22.2015 - Amin joins the lab

    06.15.2015 - Suchi joins the lab

    06.01.2015 - Shivangi joins the lab

    05.29.2015 - Liz's last day

    04.20.2015 - Sana/Dileep’s dispatch published
    04.01.2015 - Liz joins the lab

    01.25.2015 - Sana joins the lab

    01.01.2015 - Unofficial start date

    Dileep Varma, PhD
    Assistant Professor in Cell and Molecular Biology

    For more information, click here to visit our department page.

    Positions Available for post-docs and rotation students