I worked initially on chromatin structure, epigenetics and cell division. My PhD thesis was mainly focused on NH₂-terminal domain of the centromeric histone variant CENP-A. I showed that the mitotic phosphorylation of that domain is required for the correct segregation of chromosomes in HeLa cells and for the centromeric localization of CENP-C.
Of note, parts of those results have been later convincingly contradicted by others (Barra et al., 2019).
During my PhD, I was also involved in research regarding the structure of the nucleosome and the chromatin fiber (Syed et al., 2010, Shukla et al., 2011, and Meyer et al., 2011), and to a lesser extent in work on the transcriptional regulation of ATAD2 (Altintas et al., 2012).
After my PhD, I spent a few years still working on cell division and DNA repair. I was particularly interested in the mechanisms which allow broken chromosomes to be properly segregated in mitosis (Derive et al., 2015; Landmann et al., 2020), using both cultured human cells and fruit flies as model organisms.
I have then been interested in the biology of brain tumors and particularly glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). I was using fruit flies to study the role of intratumor heterogeneity in tumor development and resistance to chemotherapy, and also the pathways involved in the regulation of tumourigenic growth (Fernández-Espartero et al., 2018).
I have now left the bench behind and work as a Drosophila curator in the FlyBase group at the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.