Group leader: Marin Barisic

Marin Barisic has earned his Master’s degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, and his PhD in Molecular Cell Biology and Oncology at the Innsbruck Medical University in Austria.

During his PhD studies in the laboratory of Dr. Stephan Geley, Marin has developed a strong interest in exploring the molecular mechanisms that ensure accurate cell division and identified human Spindly as an essential kinetochore adaptor of motor protein Dynein and important component of the mitotic checkpoint pathway (Barisic et al., Mol Biol Cell 2010).

During his postdoctoral stay in Helder Maiato’s lab, Marin has further improved his interest and skills in advanced live cell imaging and applied it to determine how multiple motor proteins with opposite polarities coordinate their activities to drive chromosome congression (Barisic et al., Nat Cell Biol 2014). He showed that Dynein poleward force counteracts chromokinesins to prevent stabilization of immature/incorrect end-on kinetochore-microtubule attachments and random ejection of polar chromosomes, revealing a previously overlooked role of Dynein in prevention of errors that could lead to aneuploidy.

As a follow up from this study, he and his colleagues revealed that kinetochore motors are guided by microtubule detyrosination (Barisic et al., Science, 2015). This important finding provided evidence for the existence of a navigation system for chromosomes during mitosis that is based on tubulin post-translational modifications (PTMs), answering a critical longstanding question how chromosomes are biased towards the cell equator prior to their segregation.

Marin is currently head of the Cell Division and Cytoskeleton group at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center, where he studies the molecular mechanisms behind chromosomal and cytoskeletal dynamics, with a special focus on the roles of motor proteins and tubulin PTMs.


Group leader Marin Barisic

ORCID: 0000-0001-7587-3867

Key Funding

Lundbeck Foundation

Danish Cancer Society Scientific Committee

Novo Nordisk Foundation