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MRC Cancer Unit


Dr Robert Mahen

Independent Research Fellow

 Pubmed  | ORCiD

Centrosome function in health and disease

I use tools from fluorescence imaging and genome editing to understand organelle biophysical properties and collective behavior inside living cells. My focus is the centrosome – a conserved organelle with fundamental functions related to cell division, cell shape, motility and cilia formation. Centrosomal defects are linked to a range of human disorders and are present in cancerous tissue. My overall goal is to elucidate molecular and biophysical principles underlying centrosomal function, both in healthy and diseased states.



My recent work has included new models of centrosome cohesion (Mahen PLOS Biol 2018; Mahen JCS 2021; Mahen bioRxiv 2021), and the development of quantitative imaging tools to understand organelle assembly inside living cells (Mahen Mol Biol Cell 2014; Mahen PNAS 2011).



Contact Robert here:

Twitter: @robmahen



Selected publications:

Mahen, R. cNap1 bridges centriole contact sites to maintain centrosome cohesion. bioRxiv. 2021. doi:

Mahen R. Stable centrosomal roots disentangle to allow interphase centriole independence. PLOS Biology. 2018. 16(4).

Mahen R, Koch B, Wachsmuth M, Politi AZ, Perez-Gonzalez A, Mergenthaler J, Cai Y, Ellenberg J. Comparative assessment of fluorescent transgene methods for quantitative imaging in human cells. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2014 25(22).

Mahen R, Hattori H, Lee M, Sharma P, Jeyasekharan AD, Venkitaraman AR. A-type lamins maintain the positional stability of DNA damage repair foci in mammalian nuclei. PLOS one. 2013 8(5).

Mahen R, Jeyasekharan AD, Barry NP, Venkitaraman AR. Continuous polo-like kinase 1 activity regulates diffusion to maintain centrosome self-organization during mitosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 2011 108(22).

Mahen R, & Venkitaraman, AR. Pattern formation in centrosome assembly. Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2012 24(1).