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Michael Polymenis

Michael Polymenis

Associate Professor

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

2128 TAMU
College Station , TX 77843-2128
Office Phone: (979) 458-3259


  1. B.S., University of Patras, Greece, 1988
  2. Ph.D., Tufts University Medical School, 1994
  3. Postdoc., Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, 1995-1999


Research Interests:

Coordination of Cell growth with Cell Division

How cells determine when to divide is critical for understanding virtually every biological process that cell proliferation is manifest. Abnormal patterns of cell division often cause disease, including cancer. Understanding cell division requires answers to each of two questions: How, and when do cells divide? Our goal is to answer the second question, since this process determines the overall rates of cell proliferation: once cells initiate their division, they are usually committed to complete it. Coordination between cellular metabolism and DNA replication determine when cells initiate division. Despite the fundamental significance of this coordination, the mechanisms that link metabolism with DNA replication in the nucleus remain largely unknown.

Using a model organism (baker's yeast), which is amenable to genetic and biochemical studies, our research aims to understand two aspects of this phenomenon: 1) how mitochondria, organelles that generate most of the cell's energy, actively promote initiation of DNA replication in the nucleus; and 2) how a stress signaling pathway called the unfolded protein response (UPR), acts as a homeostatic mechanism uniquely positioned to gauge overall metabolic activity before DNA replication. We hope that our research will impact the understanding of cell division mechanisms in a variety of fungal, plant, or animal systems, because these processes are conserved in all eukaryotic organisms, from yeast to humans.


Jinbai Guo