The Shuster Lab


The cytoskeleton, cell division, and early development

New Mexico State University

Give us a shout


Our lab is interested in the regulation of the cytoskeleton in embryonic and somatic cells. In particular, our efforts are focused on understanding how the microtubule- and actomyosin cytoskeletons contribute to cytokinesis, the final separation of daughter cells during cell division. Proper cell division requires that chromosome segregation and cytokinesis be tightly regulated in space and time, but the mechanisms by which the cell cycle coordinately regulates these events remain unclear. In cells of the early embryo, is matters are complicated further by their large cell size, low surface area, and lack of functional cell cycle checkpoints. In an effort to approach these complicated questions, our lab uses several experimental models and approaches. Shown at the right are two images of our primary experimental models, mammalian tissue culture cells and sea urchin eggs.

We're located in the Department of Biology at New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces, NM. Sandwiched between the Rio Grande river and the Organ Mountains just east of town (right), Las Cruces enjoys excellent weather and easy access to great hiking and mountain biking. Our department offers both M.S. and PhD graduate degrees, with specializations in Ecology and Evolution, Microbiology and Cell/Organismal Biology. We also participate in the Molecular Biology Graduate Program, as well as the HHMI, BRIDGES and MARC academic programs for undergraduate students.


A human RPE1 cell completing cytokinesis


Sea urchin egg at anaphase onset observed with a polarizing microscope.


This year we are helping to organize the 21st Developmental Biology of the Sea Urchin at the Marine Biology Laboratory, October 24-27, 2012. To go to the meeting site, click on the MBL logo below:


The Organ Mountains from the Dripping Springs trail