Christine Field

Christine Field

christine field

Dr. Christine Field is interested in how eukaryotic cells divide, particularly in how microtubules organize the cytoplasm of large Xenopus eggs during fertilization and early cleavage divisions.

Dr. Christine Field studied syncytial division in Drosophila embryos with Dr. Bruce Alberts at the University of California in San Fransciso during the 1990s, where she discovered the conserved cleavage furrow protein anillin and also the organization of septin proteins into linear complexes and filaments. She moved to Harvard Medical School in 1997, where she finished her PhD working with Dr Marc Kirschner, and established a research program on cell division mechanism and cytoplasmic organization during the cleavage stages of Xenopus laevis embryogenesis.  In recent years she made extensive progress on the classic question of how spatial information is relayed from mitotic spindles to the egg cortex to position cleavage furrows. She has remained interested in how diverse organisms divide and most recently, in collaboration with Dr Amy Gladfelter (UNC) has begun collecting, culturing and imaging marine fungi from the water around MBL, discovering a surprising diversity in division patterns and morphologies.  She is interested in learning more about the mechanisms behind division in these new model organisms.

Selected publications:

Xenopus Eggs

  • Field, CM, Wühr, M, Anderson, GA, Kueh, HY, Strickland, D and Mitchison, TJ. (2011) Actin behavior in bulk cytoplasm is cell cycle regulated in early vertebrate embryos. J. Cell Sci. 124:2086-2095.
  • Mitchison, TJ, Wühr, M, Nguyen, P, Ishihara K, Groen, A, Field, CM. (2012) Growth, interaction and positioning of microtubule asters in extremely large vertebrate embryo cells. Cytoskeleton 69, 738-750.
  • Nguyen, PA, Groen, AC, Loose, M, Ishihara, K, Wühr, M, Field, CM, Mitchison, TJ. (2014) Spatial organization of cytokinesis signaling reconstituted in a cell-free system. Science 346:244-247.
  • Field, C. M., Groen, A. C., Nguyen, P. A. and Mitchison, T. J.  (2015) Spindle to cortex communication in cleaving, polyspermic Xenopus eggs. Mol Biol Cell 26:3628-3640.
  • Mitchison, TJ, Field, CM (2017) Spindle-to-cortex communication in cleaving frog eggs. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 82:165-171.
  • Field, CM, Pelletier, JF and Mitchison, TJ. (2019) Disassembly of actin and keratin networks by Aurora B Kinase at the midplane of cleaving Xenopus eggs. Curr Biol. 29:1999-2008.

Marine Yeast

  • Mitchison-Field, LMY, Vargas-Muñiz, JM, Stormo, BM, Vogt,EJD, Van Dierdonck, S, Pelletier, FP, Ehrlich, C, Lew, DJ, Field, CM and Gladfelter, AS.  (2019) Unconventional cell division cycles from marine-derived yeasts.  Curr Biol 29(20):3439-3456.