Robert Margolis, Ph.D.[La Jolla]
My strongest motivation is to study the mechanisms of mitosis and cell cleavage. These are critical points of the cell cycle that must be perfect for preservation of the genome. Abnormalities of these processes are common in tumors, and therefore are important therapy targets.
Dr. Margolis’s research centers on cell cycle controls and the cell cytoskeleton, and interactions between the two.
Dr. Margolis earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
View All Publications
Molecular distinctions between Aurora A and B: a single residue change transforms Aurora A into correctly localized and functional Aurora B.
Hans F, Skoufias DA, Dimitrov S, Margolis RL
Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Aug;20(15):3491-502
Mitosis persists in the absence of Cdk1 activity when proteolysis or protein phosphatase activity is suppressed.
Skoufias DA, Indorato RL, Lacroix F, Panopoulos A, Margolis RL
J Cell Biol. 2007 Nov 19;179(4):671-85
Ablation of PRC1 by small interfering RNA demonstrates that cytokinetic abscission requires a central spindle bundle in mammalian cells, whereas completion of furrowing does not.
Mollinari C, Kleman JP, Saoudi Y, Jablonski SA, Perard J, Yen TJ, Margolis RL
Mol Biol Cell. 2005 Mar;16(3):1043-55
Inhibition of DNA decatenation, but not DNA damage, arrests cells at metaphase.
Skoufias DA, Lacroix FB, Andreassen PR, Wilson L, Margolis RL
Mol Cell. 2004 Sep 24;15(6):977-90
The mammalian passenger protein TD-60 is an RCC1 family member with an essential role in prometaphase to metaphase progression.
Mollinari C, Reynaud C, Martineau-Thuillier S, Monier S, Kieffer S, Garin J, Andreassen PR, Boulet A, Goud B, Kleman JP, Margolis RL
Dev Cell. 2003 Aug;5(2):295-307
Robert Margolis's Research Focus
Cancer, Brain Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer
Dr. Margolis’s research centers on cell cycle controls and the cell cytoskeleton, and interactions between the two. Cell cycle controls are essential to the precise transmission of the genomic material into daughter cells, as they function to prevent cell cycle progression unless prior events have successfully completed. Aberrant controls are universal in human tumor cells, and underlie their ability to continue to survive while developing a more and more abnormal genetic content. Dr. Margolis has focused on the intrinsic mechanisms of mitosis and cell division, describing many of the proteins and processes essential to successful completion of these key events. He has also studied the mechanism of cell cycle arrest following mitotic or cleavage failure, a control mechanism that is faulty in tumor cells that lack functional p53, an important tumor suppressor. The result is the rapid development of aneuploidy following failure of cell division. Dr. Margolis has recently begun studying the fundamental mechanism by which mammalian cells enter mitosis and sustain the mitotic state. It is known that Cdc2 is the essential protein kinase that drives the mitotic state, but it remains an open but very important question how precisely it performs this function.
About Robert Margolis
Dr. Margolis earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. After post-doctoral training in Pharmacology and Biochemistry at Stanford University and the University of California Santa Barbara, he became a member of the Basic Sciences Faculty of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He later moved to France where he became Director of Research at the Institut de Biologie Structurale in Grenoble. Returning to the United States, he joined the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego in 2006 as Professor in the Division of Cancer Cell Biology. In 2009, he was appointed as Professor in the Tumor Development Program at Sanford-Burnham.
Funding Awards and Collaborative Grants
La Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer (France), Prestigous Award: Laboratoire Labelisé, 2000-2007
Human Frontier Science Program Grant, shared with Nobel Laureates Edmond H. Fischer and Edward G. Krebs, 1993-1998
Honors and Recognition
NIGMS Eureka Award, 2009