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

Kinetochore-microtubule coupling mechanisms mediated by the Ska1 complex and Cdt1
Rahi A, Chakraborty M, Vosberg K, Varma D.
Essays Biochem2020 Sep 4;64(2):337-347. doi: 10.1042/EBC20190075.

Computational model demonstrates that Ndc80-associated proteins strengthen kinetochore-microtubule attachments in metaphase.
Campbell S, Amin MA, Varma D, Bidone TC. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2019 Nov;76(11-12):549-561. doi: 10.1002/cm.21562. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Cell Division: The Unattached Kinetochore Wears an Expansive RZZ Coat. 
Suzuki A and Varma D. Curr Biol. 2018 Nov 5;28(21):R1250-R1252. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.10.001.

Cdt1 stabilizes kinetochore-microtubule attachments via an Aurora B kinase-dependent mechanism.
Agarwal S, Smith KP, Zhou Y, Suzuki A, McKenney RJ and Varma D. J Cell Biol. 2018 Aug 28. pii: jcb.201705127. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201705127

Antagonism between the dynein and Ndc80 complexes at kinetochores controls the stability of kinetochore-microtubule attachments during mitosis.
Amin MA, McKenney RJ, Varma D. J Biol. Chem. 2018 Feb 23. pii: jbc.RA117.001699. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA117.001699.

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

View all publications


08.28.18 - Shivangi's JCB manuscript published

02.23.18 - Amin's JBC manuscript published

09.01.17 - Amin’s JoVE manuscript is accepted

08.01.17 - New Tech, Melissa, joins the lab

06.15.17 - Shivangi’s Cancer review is accepted

01.01.17 - Master’s student Yu and Yiyi joins

06.15.2016 - Suchi's last day

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

Dileep Varma, PhD
Assistant Professor in Cell and Developmental Biology

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

Positions Available for post-docs and rotation students