Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Columbia University in the City of New York
Fred Chang, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
M.D., Ph.D., University of California at San Francisco

Cell polarization, cell division and cytoskeleton dynamics in fission yeast

The Chang Lab studies fundamental questions concerning spatial organization within a single cell: How do cells determine where they should divide, and where should they polarize? How does pattern formation occur in the single cell? How do cellular components determine cell shape and size? How might cells sense their own shape and size?

To address these questions, we primarily study a eukaryotic model organism, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. These are simple rod-shaped cells that display a highly uniform size and rod-shape morphology. We seek to elucidate quantitative molecular and biomechanical mechanisms underlying the dynamic cellular processes responsible for morphogenesis of the cell. In our work, we use interdisciplinary approaches, combining the expertise and perspectives of cell biologists, geneticists, physicists, and engineers. We seek to develop new approaches to manipulate and assay processes in living cells, using microscopy, genetics, and micro-fabricated devices.

Current projects include: regulation of cytokinesis, placement of the cell division plane, cell polarity, dynamics of microtubules and actin, biomechanics of cell morphogenesis and sensing of cell shape and size.

For more information, please check out our publications and visit our lab website.

Selected Publications

  1. Proctor, S., Minc, N., Boudaoud, A. and Chang, F. (2012) Contribution of turgor pressure, the contractile ring and septum assembly on forces in fission yeast cytokinesis. Curr. Biol. 22: 1601-1608.
  2. Saunders, T.E., Pan, K.Z., Angel, A., Guan, Y., Shah, J.V., Howard, M. and Chang, F. (2012) Noise reduction in the intracellular pom1p gradient by a dynamic clustering mechanism. Developmental Cell 13: 558-572.
  3. Basu, R. and Chang, F. (2011) Characterization of dip1p reveals a switch in arp2/3-dependent actin assembly for fission yeast endocytosis. Curr. Biol. 21: 905-916.
  4. Minc, N., Burgess, D. and Chang, F. (2011) Influence of cell geometry on division-plane positioning. Cell 144: 414-426. (A Cell Research Highlight)
  5. Al-Bassam, J. and Chang, F. (2011) Regulation of microtubule dynamics by TOG-domain proteins XMAP215/Dis1 and CLASP. Trends in Cell Biol. 21: 604-614.
  6. Al-Bassam, J., Kim, H., Brouhard, G., van Oijen, A., Harrison, S.C. and Chang, F. (2010) CLASP promotes microtubule rescue by recruiting tubulin dimers to the microtubule. Developmental Cell 19: 245-258.
  7. Bathe, M. and Chang, F. (2010) Cytokinesis and the contractile ring in fission yeast: towards a systems-level understanding. Trends in Microbiology 18: 38-45.
  8. Chang, F. and Martin, S. (2009) Shaping fission yeast with microtubules. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives Biol. 1: a001347.
  9. Minc, N., Boudaoud, A. and Chang, F. (2009) Mechanical forces of fission yeast growth. Curr. Biol. 19: 1096-1101.
  10. Minc, N., Bratman, S.V., Basu, R. and Chang, F. (2009) Establishing new sites of polarization by microtubules. Curr. Biol. 19: 83-94.
  11. Bratman, S. and Chang, F. (2007) The stabilization of overlapping microtubules by fission yeast CLASP. Developmental Cell 13: 812-827.
  12. Padte, N.N., Martin, S.G., Howard, M. and Chang, F. (2006) The cell-end factor pom1p inhibits mid1p in specification of the cell division plane in fission yeast. Curr. Biol. 16: 2480-2487.
  13. Daga, R., Lee, K.G., Bratman, S., Salas-Pino, S. and Chang, F. (2006) Self-organization of microtubule bundles in anucleate fission yeast cells. Nature Cell Biol. 8: 1108-1113.
  14. Daga, R., Yonetani, A. and Chang, F. (2006) Asymmetric microtubule pushing forces in nuclear centering. Curr. Biol. 16: 1544-1550.
  15. Martin, S.G. and Chang, F. (2006) Dynamics of the formin for3p in actin cable assembly. Curr. Biol. 16: 1161-1170.
  16. Daga, R. and Chang, F. (2005) Dynamics of positioning the fission yeast cell division plane. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102: 8228-8232.
  17. Martin, S.G., McDonald, W.H., Yates, J.R. and Chang, F. (2005) Tea4p links microtubule plus ends with the formin for3p in the establishment of cell polarity. Developmental Cell 8: 479-491.

Professor Fred Chang
Phone: 212-305-0252
Fax: 212-305-1468

Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Columbia University + 701 W. 168 St., HHSC 1208 New York, NY 10032 Tel. 212-305-3647