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Dawn Clifford Hart, PhD

dawn

Associate Professor of Cell & Molecular Biology
3363 KHS hartdaw@gvsu.edu

 

Education:

B.S., (Biology and Psychology as a Natural Science) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Ph.D., (Cancer Biology) Wayne State University & Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, Laboratory of George Brush, Ph.D.

NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University & HHMI, Nashville, Laboratory of Kathy Gould, Ph.D.

 

Courses Taught:

CMB 250: Introduction to Biotechnology

CMB 405: Cell & Molecular Biology

CMB 411: Genetics of Development and Cancer

CMB 426: Nucleic Acids Laboratory

CMB 495: Perspectives in Cell & Molecular Biology (Capstone)

CMB 626: Advanced Nucleic Acids Laboratory

CMB 697: Colloquium in Biotechnology

Research Interests

Research Interests: Cell Division and Protein Phosphorylation

Mitosis is the phase of the cell division cycle when chromosomes are pulled to the opposite ends of a cell and the nucleus is evenly divided. Concurrently, proteins that are essential for cell division, cell shape and cell motility, namely actin and myosin, undergo dynamic rearrangements within the cell to concentrate at the future site of cell division. Once recruited to the medial region of the cell, actin, myosin and several regulatory proteins coalesce into a ring structure called the "acto-myosin ring". Physical separation of the mother cell into two identical cells occurs when the acto-myosin ring constricts, a mechanism analogous to muscle contraction. This terminal stage of the cell division cycle is called cytokinesis.

Accurate division of a mother cell into two identical daughter cells is absolutely required to ensure all genes are properly transferred and prevent diseases that may result from cell division defects, such as cancer. Central to this multi-step process is proper assembly of the acto-myosin ring in the center of the cell. In fission yeast, Mid1 is one of the first proteins to concentrate in the mid-region of the cell and functions to specify the future site of cell division. To maintain placement of the acto-myosin ring in the center of the cell, Mid1 acts like a large scaffold or "bridge" that connects the cell wall and cell division machinery. Specifically, Mid1 directly interacts with lipids in the cell membrane and recruits other acto-myosin ring components, such as myosin and actin regulatory proteins. Cells lacking the Mid1 scaffold form "floating" acto-myosin ring structures that appear non-centered and/or tilted. Consequently, the cell divides unevenly and chromosomes are often unequally distributed to the newly generated daughter cells, a situation that can be detrimental to the cell.

Our research employs fission yeast as a model system to study cell division. We utilize genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology and cell imaging to achieve our primary research goal: Elucidate the molecular details of mitosis and cytokinesis. Our current research focuses on understanding acto-myosin ring assembly, maturation and constriction.

Work in the Clifford Hart lab is supported by the National Science Foundation RUI Award #1157997.

Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity at Wayne State University/Karmanos Cancer Institute: The Department of Cell & Molecular Biology is partnering with the Cancer Biology Program at Karmanos Cancer Institute/Wayne State University to offer CMB undergraduates a paid summer research opportunity. Students admitted to this program will work for 10-12 weeks with a research mentor at the Karmanos Cancer Institute to carryout a research project. Students will gain a comprehensive experience in cancer research that includes data analysis, interpretation and a final presentation of their work at the Summer Research Poster Day with other summer research fellows. If you have a strong interest in cancer research and meet the eligibility criteria, you are encouraged to apply. Start dates will vary but students will need to be available to begin May 1st. This is a full-time position. Students will receive a stipend for the internship. Housing is not provided. Karmanos Cancer Institute is located in Detroit, MI. Most summer fellows stay with family or friends in the metro Detroit area.

Eligibility:

  • Cell and Molecular Biology major
  • Junior status and graduating December 2017 or later
  • Overall minimum GPA 3.0
  • Completed the following CMB required courses or equivalents by April:  BIO120, CHM115/116, CHM241/242, CMB250, CMB405/406

How to apply:  Due date is February 1, 2017.

E-mail the following materials directly to Dr. Dawn Clifford Hart at hartdaw@gvsu.edu as a single pdf file:

  1. A current resume or CV that includes a cumulative GPA and relevant coursework or research experience
  2. A copy of transcripts (unofficial from Banner)
  3. A brief statement (1-2 paragraphs) that describes your academic and research goals, and how participation in a summer internship in cancer research will help you achieve those goals.

Review process and timeline: Applications are due February 1, 2017. Applications will be reviewed internally with the option of interviews in February. The top applicants will be recommended to the review committee at Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Questions: Direct all questions to Dr. Dawn Clifford Hart at hartdaw@gvsu.edu or come to her office hours Tuesday noon-2PM in 3363 KHS.

 

Publications (*GVSU students underlined):

Almonacid M, Celton-Morizur S, Jakubowski JL*, Dingli F, Loew D, Mayeux A, Chen JS, Gould KL, Clifford DM & Paoletti A. Temporal control of contractile ring assembly by Plo1-dependent regulation of Myosin II recruitment by Mid1/Anillin. Current Biology. 2011, 21(6): 473-479.

Bohnert KA, Chen JS, Clifford DM, Vander Kooi CW, Gould KL. "A Link between Aurora Kinase and Clp1/Cdc14 Regulation Uncovered by the Identification of a Fission Yeast Borealin-like Protein." Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2009, 20(16):3646-3659.

Clifford DM, Wolfe BA, Roberts-Galbraith RH, McDonald WH, Yates III JR, and Gould KL "Clp1/Cdc14 phosphatase contributes to the robustness of cytokinesis by association with anillin-related Mid1." Journal of Cell Biology. 2008, 181(1):79-88. (Highlighted in VU Reporter, May 2008)

Chen CT, Feoktistova A, Chen JS, Shim YS, Roberts RH, Clifford DM, Gould KL, and McCollum D. "The SIN kinase Sid2 regulates cytoplasmic retention of the S. pombe Cdc14-like phosphatase Clp1." Current Biology. 2008, 18(20):1594-1599.

Clifford DM, Chen CT, Roberts RH, Feoktistova A, Wolfe BA, Chen JS, McCollum D, and Gould KL. "The role of Cdc14 phosphatases in the control of cell division." Biochemical Society Transactions. 2008, 36(3):1-3.

Clifford DM, Stark KE, Gardner KE, Hoffmann-Benning S, Brush GS. Mechanistic insight into the Cdc28-related protein kinase Ime2 through analysis of replication protein A phosphorylation. Cell Cycle. 2005, 4(12):1826-1833.

Clifford DM, Marinco SM, Brush GS. The meiosis-specific protein kinase Ime2 directs phosphorylation of replication protein A. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2004, 279(7):6163-6170.

Brush GS, Clifford DM, Marinco SM, Bartrand AJ. Replication protein A is sequentially phosphorylated during meiosis. Nucleic Acids Research. 2001, 29(23):4808-4817.

 

Presentations with GVSU student researchers (presenter bold, *GVSU student):
A. International/National Conferences

Ashley K. DeWitt*, Kathleen L. Gould, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. The NDR kinase Sid2 phosphorylates Anillin-related Mid1 to regulate its localization and function during cytokinesis. American Society of Cell Biology Annual Conference, San Diego. December 12-16, 2015.

Sarah VanOeveren*, Marian J. Testori*, David Zeitler, David R. Kovar, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Fission yeast Mid1 Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain regulates filamentous actin polymerization and cooperates with bundling proteins Fim1 and Ain1. American Society of Cell Biology Annual Conference, San Diego. December 12-16, 2015.

Gabrielle Foxa*, Patrick Schneider, Ashley DeWitt, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Nuclear transport of Anillin-related Mid1 requires the importin alpha Imp1 and influences fission yeast cell polarity. American Society of Cell Biology Annual Conference, San Diego. December 12-16, 2015.

Ashley K. DeWitt*, Patrick Schneider*, Gabrielle Foxa*, Kathleen L. Gould, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Sid2 phosphoregulation of the anillin-related Mid1 nuclear localization and fission yeast cytokinesis . American Society of Cell Biology Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA. December 6-10, 2014.

Marian J. Testori*, Ashley K. DeWitt, Jennifer L. Jakubowski*, David R. Kovar, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Inhibition of F-actin elongation by the fission yeast Mid1 PH domain. American Society of Cell Biology Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA. December 14-18, 2013.

Marian J. Testori*, Ashley K. DeWitt*, Jennifer Jakubowski*, Brandon Nader*, David Kovar, Dawn Clifford Hart. Elucidation of Mid1 interactions and regulatory mechanisms contributing to stable cortical localization. EMBO Conference on Fission Yeast: pombe 2013 7th International Fission Yeast Meeting. London, UK. June 24-29, 2013.

Ashley K. DeWitt*, Jennifer Phelan*, Brandon Nader*, Kathleen L. Gould, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Sid2 phospho-regulation of the anillin-related scaffolding protein Mid1 in fission yeast cytokinesis . EMBO Conference on Fission Yeast: pombe 2013 7th International Fission Yeast Meeting. London, UK. June 24-29, 2013.

Marian J. Testori*, Jennifer L. Jakubowski*, David R. Kovar, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Interaction of the fission yeast Mid1 Pleckstrin Homology domain with the major contractile ring element, F-actin . EMBO Conference on Fission Yeast: pombe 2013 7th International Fission Yeast Meeting. London, UK. June 24-29, 2013.

Ashley DeWitt*, Elizabeth Kranz*, Jennifer Phelan*, Brandon Nader*, Kathleen L. Gould, & Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Phospho-regulation of the anillin-related scaffolding protein Mid1 in fission yeast. American Society of Cell Biology Annual Conference, Denver, CO. December 3-7, 2011.

Justin Hackett*, Jennifer Phelan*, Kathleen L. Gould, & Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Fission yeast cyclin-dependent kinase, Cdc2, regulates the Mid1 scaffolding protein during cytokinesis. American Society of Cell Biology Annual Conference, Denver, CO. December 3-7, 2011.

Jennifer Phelan*, Brandon Nader*, Jennifer L. Jakubowski*, Kathleen L. Gould, & Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Phospho-regulation of the anillin-related scaffolding protein, Mid1. The 6th International Fission Yeast Meeting, Boston, MA. June 25-30, 2011.

Jennifer Phelan*, Kathleen L. Gould, & Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Phospho-regulation of the anillin-related scaffolding protein, Mid1. American Society of Cell Biology Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA. December 11-15, 2010.

Jennifer Phelan* & Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Phospho-regulation of the anillin-related scaffolding protein, Mid1. Council of Undergraduate Research, Washington D.C. October 2010.

Jennifer L. Jakubowski* & Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Association of the anillin-related protein Mid1 with Actin. American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA. April 2010.
 

B. Regional and/or Undergraduate Conferences (last two years)

Audrey Arbogast*, Anna Barry, Eric Moore, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Dis2-PP1 Phosphatase Dephosphorylates Mid1 during Cytokinesis in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2016.

Madison Schmidtmann*, Ashley DeWitt, Gabrielle Foxa, Dawn Clifford Hart. Investigating the interaction between Mid1 and Imp1 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2016.

Madison Spratt*, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Characterizing Effects Of Overexpressed Polarity Kinase Orb6 on Contractile Ring Proteins in S. pombe. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2016.

Sarah VanOeveren*, Marian J. Testori*, David Zeitler, David R. Kovar, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Fission yeast Mid1 Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain regulates filamentous actin polymerization and cooperates with bundling proteins Fim1 and Ain1. Chicago Cytoskeleton Meeting, Northwestern University, March 18, 2016.

Barry, A.*, Moore, E.*, Clifford Hart, D. Analyzing a role for the PP1 phosphatase Dis2 on Mid1 localization in fission yeast cell division. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2015.

Bassler, Z.*, Clifford Hart, D. Anillin-like Mid1 requires the membrane anchored Mac1 for localization to cytokinetic nodes. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2015.

Gilbert, T.*, Moore, E.*, Clifford Hart, D. Discovery of Cell Cycle Protein Binding Events and Their Role In Fission Yeast Cytokinesis. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2015.

Foxa, G.*, Schneider, P.*, DeWitt, A.*, Clifford Hart, D. Nuclear transport of Anillin-related Mid1 requires the importin alpha Imp1 and influences fission yeast cell polarity. West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2015.

Ashley K. DeWitt*, Patrick Schneider*, Gabrielle Foxa*, Kathleen L. Gould, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. Sid2 phosphoregulation of the anillin-related Mid1 nuclear localization and fission yeast cytokinesis. Chicago Cytoskeleton meeting, Northwestern University, March 20, 2015.

Sarah VanOeveren*, Marian J. Testori*, David R. Kovar, Dawn M. Clifford Hart. The fission yeast Mid1 pleckstrin homology domain regulates filamentous actin elongation and bundling. Chicago Cytoskeleton meeting, Northwestern University, March 20, 2015.

Other GVSU Presentations:

Clifford Hart, DM. Phosphoregulation of the Mid1 Scaffold in Contractile Ring Function. Cancer Biology Graduate Student Research Symposium, Wayne State University, March 28, 2014. (Invited Keynote)

Clifford Hart, DM. Phospho-regulation of the anillin-related scaffolding protein, Mid1. Chicago Cytoskeleton meeting, Northwestern University, March 16, 2012. (Invited speaker)

Clifford Hart DM, Split down the middle: coordinating cell division in fission yeast. CLAS Faculty Research Colloquia; Allendale, MI. Oct 23, 2009.