Cimini Research Group

Cimini Research Group (2019)

Research in the Cimini lab focuses on two major areas: (i) the role of mechanics and dynamics of mitotic apparatus components in ensuring accurate chromosome segregation during cell division; and (ii) the causes and consequences of aneuploidy (abnormal chromosome numbers) in normal and cancer cells.

The process of generating two cells from one—cell division—is essential to life. A key process in cell division is the equal partitioning of the replicated DNA into two daughter cells, a process known as mitosis. Understanding the mechanisms that regulate mitotic chromosome segregation is a key aspect of our understanding of how life is maintained and propagated. We use a combination of experimental and computational approaches to understand how the mechanics and dynamics of various mitotic apparatus components contribute to the accurate execution of mitosis.

Adaptor Proteins in Endosomal Protein Trafficking

Aneuploidy, the condition of a cell or organism possessing an incorrect chromosome number, is the leading cause of miscarriage in humans and a hallmark of cancer. Aneuploidy arises as a consequence of errors during cell division. Our research aims at identifying the cellular mechanisms that cause aneuploidy in both normal and cancer cells. Moreover, we are interested in understanding how aneuploidy affects cell function, with particular attention to cell division itself.

Lipid-binding Events in the Wnt Signaling Pathway

Lab Members


Baudoin, Nico

Visiting Student

Bloomfield, Mathew

Visiting Student

Bridgeland, Alexandra

Visiting Student

Fluet, Kaylie

Visiting Student

Garcia, Ellen

Visiting Student

Hayes, Aaron

Visiting Student

McCaffrey, Andrew

Visiting Student

Perez, Claudia

Visiting Student

Peyton, Lowrey

Visiting Student

Smith, Taryn

Visiting Student

Stunes, Annelise

Visiting Student


Cojoc G, Roscioli E, Zhang L, et al. Laser microsurgery reveals conserved viscoelastic behavior of the kinetochore. J Cell Biol. 2016;212(7):767–776.

Guarguaglini G, Cimini D. The centrosome: a multifaceted cellular weapon against chromosome instability. Chromosome Res. 2016;24(1):1–4.

Kajtez J, Solomatina A, Novak M, et al. Overlap microtubules link sister k-fibres and balance the forces on bi-oriented kinetochores. Nat Commun. 2016;7:10298.

Pampalona J, Roscioli E, Silkworth WT, et al. Chromosome Bridges Maintain Kinetochore-Microtubule Attachment throughout Mitosis and Rarely Break during Anaphase. PLoS One. 2016;11(1):e0147420.

Rutledge SD, Cimini D. Consequences of aneuploidy in sickness and in health. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2016;40:41–46.

Rutledge SD, Douglas TA, Nicholson JM, et al. Selective advantage of trisomic human cells cultured in non-standard conditions. Sci Rep. 2016;6:22828.


Nicholson JM, Cimini D. Link between aneuploidy and chromosome instability. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2015;315:299–317.

Nicholson JM, Macedo JC, Mattingly AJ, et al. Chromosome mis-segregation and cytokinesis failure in trisomic human cells. Elife. 2015;4.

Russo A, Pacchierotti F, Cimini D, et al. Genomic instability: Crossing pathways at the origin of structural and numerical chromosome changes. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2015;56(7):563–580.

Saverot SE, Reese LM, Cimini D, Vikesland PJ, Bickford LR. Characterization of Conventional One-Step Sodium Thiosulfate Facilitated Gold Nanoparticle Synthesis. Nanoscale Res Lett. 2015;10(1):940.

Ye AA, Deretic J, Hoel CM, et al. Aurora A Kinase Contributes to a Pole-Based Error Correction Pathway. Curr Biol. 2015;25(14):1842–1851.


Bakhoum SF, Silkworth WT, Nardi IK, Nicholson JM, Compton DA, Cimini D. The mitotic origin of chromosomal instability. Curr Biol. 2014;24(4):R148–9.

Civelekoglu-Scholey G, Cimini D. Modelling chromosome dynamics in mitosis: a historical perspective on models of metaphase and anaphase in eukaryotic cells. Interface Focus. 2014;4(3):20130073.


Civelekoglu-Scholey G, He B, Shen M, et al. Dynamic bonds and polar ejection force distribution explain kinetochore oscillations in PtK1 cells. J Cell Biol. 2013;201(4):577–593.

Nain AS, Cimini D. MISP: The missing link between extracellular matrix and astral microtubules. Cell Cycle. 2013;12(12):1821–1822.

Nicholson JM, Cimini D. Cancer karyotypes: survival of the fittest. Front Oncol. 2013;3:148.

Park SW, Li W, Viehhauser A, et al. Cyclophilin 20-3 relays a 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid signal during stress responsive regulation of cellular redox homeostasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110(23):9559–9564.


Nicholson JM, Cimini D. Doubling the deck: Tetraploidy induces chromosome shuffling and cancer. Cell Cycle. 2012;11(18):3354–3355.

Silkworth WT, Cimini D. Transient defects of mitotic spindle geometry and chromosome segregation errors. Cell Div. 2012;7(1):19.

Silkworth WT, Nardi IK, Paul R, Mogilner A, Cimini D. Timing of centrosome separation is important for accurate chromosome segregation. Mol Biol Cell. 2012;23(3):401–411.

Wan X, Cimini D, Cameron LA, Salmon ED. The coupling between sister kinetochore directional instability and oscillations in centromere stretch in metaphase PtK1 cells. Mol Biol Cell. 2012;23(6):1035–1046.


Creekmore AL, Silkworth WT, Cimini D, Jensen RV, Roberts PC, Schmelz EM. Changes in gene expression and cellular architecture in an ovarian cancer progression model. PLoS One. 2011;6(3):e17676.

Gregan J, Polakova S, Zhang L, Tolic-Norrelykke IM, Cimini D. Merotelic kinetochore attachment: causes and effects. Trends Cell Biol. 2011;21(6):374–381.

Nicholson JM, Cimini D. How mitotic errors contribute to karyotypic diversity in cancer. Adv Cancer Res. 2011;112:43–75.


Paul R, Wollman R, Silkworth WT, Nardi IK, Cimini D, Mogilner A. Computer simulations predict that chromosome movements and rotations accelerate mitotic spindle assembly without compromising accuracy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106(37):15708–15713.

Sgura A, Cimini D. Telomeres: Function, Shortening and Lengthening. In: Mancini L, ed. Telomeres and Chromosome Segregation. Usa: Nova Science; 2009.  

Silkworth WT, Nardi IK, Scholl LM, Cimini D. Multipolar spindle pole coalescence is a major source of kinetochore mis-attachment and chromosome mis-segregation in cancer cells. PLoS One. 2009;4(8):e6564.


Cimini D. Merotelic kinetochore orientation, aneuploidy, and cancer. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008;1786(1):32–40.


Cimini D. Detection and correction of merotelic kinetochore orientation by Aurora B and its partners. Cell Cycle. 2007;6(13):1558–1564.


Cameron LA, Yang G, Cimini D, et al. Kinesin 5-independent poleward flux of kinetochore microtubules in PtK1 cells. J Cell Biol. 2006;173(2):173–179.

Cimini D, Wan X, Hirel CB, Salmon ED. Aurora kinase promotes turnover of kinetochore microtubules to reduce chromosome segregation errors. Curr Biol. 2006;16(17):1711–1718.

DeLuca JG, Gall WE, Ciferri C, Cimini D, Musacchio A, Salmon ED. Kinetochore microtubule dynamics and attachment stability are regulated by Hec1. Cell. 2006;127(5):969–982.

Kapoor TM, Lampson MA, Hergert P, et al. Chromosomes can congress to the metaphase plate before biorientation. Science. 2006;311(5759):388–391.


Cimini D, Degrassi F. Aneuploidy: a matter of bad connections. Trends Cell Biol. 2005;15(8):442–451.

De Antoni A, Pearson CG, Cimini D, et al. The Mad1/Mad2 complex as a template for Mad2 activation in the spindle assembly checkpoint. Curr Biol. 2005;15(3):214–225.

Salmon ED, Cimini D, Cameron LA, DeLuca JG. Merotelic kinetochores in mammalian tissue cells. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2005;360(1455):553–568.


Cimini D, Cameron LA, Salmon ED. Anaphase spindle mechanics prevent mis-segregation of merotelically oriented chromosomes. Curr Biol. 2004;14(23):2149–2155.


Cimini D, Mattiuzzo M, Torosantucci L, Degrassi F. Histone hyperacetylation in mitosis prevents sister chromatid separation and produces chromosome segregation defects. Mol Biol Cell. 2003;14(9):3821–3833.

Cimini D, Moree B, Canman JC, Salmon ED. Merotelic kinetochore orientation occurs frequently during early mitosis in mammalian tissue cells and error correction is achieved by two different mechanisms. J Cell Sci. 2003;116(Pt 20):4213–4225.


Cimini D, Fioravanti D, Salmon ED, Degrassi F. Merotelic kinetochore orientation versus chromosome mono-orientation in the origin of lagging chromosomes in human primary cells. J Cell Sci. 2002;115(Pt 3):507–515.


Cimini D, Howell B, Maddox P, Khodjakov A, Degrassi F, Salmon ED. Merotelic kinetochore orientation is a major mechanism of aneuploidy in mitotic mammalian tissue cells. J Cell Biol. 2001;153(3):517–527.


Carere A, Antoccia A, Cimini D, et al. Analysis of chromosome loss and non-disjunction in cytokinesis-blocked lymphocytes of 24 male subjects. Mutagenesis. 1999;14(5):491–496.

Cimini D, Tanzarella C, Degrassi F. Differences in malsegregation rates obtained by scoring ana-telophases or binucleate cells. Mutagenesis. 1999;14(6):563–568.

Pittoggi C, Renzi L, Zaccagnini G, et al. A fraction of mouse sperm chromatin is organized in nucleosomal hypersensitive domains enriched in retroposon DNA. J Cell Sci. 1999;112 ( Pt 20):3537–3548.

Rizzuto G, Gorgoni B, Cappelletti M, et al. Development of animal models for adeno-associated virus site-specific integration. J Virol. 1999;73(3):2517–2526.


Carere A, Antoccia A, Cimini D, et al. Genetic effects of petroleum fuels: II. Analysis of chromosome loss and hyperploidy in peripheral lymphocytes of gasoline station attendants. Environ Mol Mutagen. 1998;32(2):130–138.

Cimini D, Fioravanti D, Tanzarella C, Degrassi F. Simultaneous inhibition of contractile ring and central spindle formation in mammalian cells treated with cytochalasin B. Chromosoma. 1998;107(6-7):479–485.

Pieroni L, Fipaldini C, Monciotti A, et al. Targeted integration of adeno-associated virus-derived plasmids in transfected human cells. Virology. 1998;249(2):249–259.


Cimini D, Antoccia A, Tanzarella C, Degrassi F. Topoisomerase II inhibition in mitosis produces numerical and structural chromosomal aberrations in human fibroblasts. Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1997;76(1-2):61–67.


Cimini D, Tanzarella C, Degrassi F. Effects of 5-azacytidine on the centromeric region of human fibroblasts studied by CREST staining and in situ hybridization on cytokinesis-blocked cells. Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1996;72(2-3):219–224.

Parry JM, Parry EM, Bourner R, et al. The detection and evaluation of aneugenic chemicals. Mutat Res. 1996;353(1-2):11–46.