University of Dundee

Professor Jason Swedlow OBE FRSE

Mitotic chromosome dynamics
Professor of Quantitative Cell Biology
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee
Full Telephone: 
+44 (0) 1382 385819, int ext 85819


During cell division, the two copies of a cell's genetic material are completely separated and delivered to a pair of new daughter cells. Proper chromosome segregation requires the formation of correct attachments between the genetic material, assembled into chromosomes, and ends of microtubules. Our research is focussed on establishing the molecular mechanisms that mediate and monitor the correct attachment of chromosomes to microtubule at a special structure known as the kinetochore. To achieve this, we make use of advanced tools for imaging the components of cell division, especially in living cells and specialised mass spectrometry methods to probe the molecular machinery of cell division. Recently, we used these tools to discover a new protein, Bod1, that plays a critical role in the formation of correct attachments between microtubules and chromosomes by modulating the activity of Aurora B protein kinase. We recently installed a newly developed OMX microscope and are using this system to probe the inner workings of the centromere and kinetochore of the mitotic chromosome.

INCENP (red) localization in a dividing cell, also stained for microtubules (green) and DNA (blue). Click on the thumbnail to view and manipulate the image in OMERO.

Like many cell biology labs, we generate large sets of image data. To manage, analyse and understand this data, we, long with our collaborators, formed the Open Microscopy Environment ConsortiumOME develops data specificationsfile format translators and data management software for imaging applications. OME tools are used in thousands of labs around the world. For more info on OME, see the Consortium's web site.


Ellenberg J, Swedlow JR, Barlow M, Cook CE, Sarkans U, Patwardhan A, Brazma A, Birney E. 2018. A call for public archives for biological image data. Nature Methods. 15(11):849-854.

Schleicher K, Porter M, ten Have S, Sundaramoorthy R, Porter IM, Swedlow JR. 2017. The Ndc80 complex targets Bod1 to human mitotic kinetochores. Open Biology. 7:1-14.

Williams E, Moore J, Li SW, Rustici G, Tarkowska A, Chessel A, Leo S, Antal B, Ferguson RK, Sarkans U, Brazma A, Carzo Salas RE, Swedlow JR. 2017. The Image Data Resource: a bioimage data integration and publication platform. Nature Methods. 14(8):775-781.

Esmaeeli-Nieh S, Fenckova M, Porter IM, Motazacker MM, Nijhof B, Castells-Nobau A, Asztalos Z, Weißmann R, Behjati F, Tzschach A, Felbor U, Scherthan H, Sayfati SM, Ropers HH, Kahrizi K, Najmabadi H, Swedlow JR, Schenck A, Kuss AW. 2016. BOD1 Is Required for Cognitive Function in Humans and Drosophila. PLoS Genetics. 12(5):1-22.

Li S, Besson S, Blackburn C, Carroll M, Ferguson RK, Flynn H, Gillen K, Leigh R, Lindner D, Linkert M, Moore WJ, Ramalingam B, Rozbicki E, Rustici G, Tarkowska A, Walczysko P, Williams E, Allan C, Burel JM, Moore J, Swedlow JR. 2016. Metadata management for high content screening in OMERO. Methods. 96:27-32.

Ortmann B, Bensaddek D, Carvalhal S, Moser SC, Mudie S, Griffis ER, Swedlow JR, Lamond AI, Rocha S. 2016. CDK-dependent phosphorylation of PHD1 on serine 130 alters its substrate preference in cells. Journal of Cell Science. 129(1):191-205.

Burel J-M, Besson S, Blackburn C, Carroll M, Ferguson R, Flynn H, Gillen K, Leigh R, Li S, Lindner D, Linkert M, Moore WJ, Ramalingam B, Rozbicki E, Tarkowska A, Walczysko P, Allan C, Moore J, Swedlow JR. 2015. Publishing and sharing multi-dimensional image data with OMERO. Mammalian Genome : Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society. 26(9):441-447.

Patwardhan A, Ashton A, Brandt R, Butcher S, Carzaniga R, Chiu W, Collinson L, Doux P, Duke E, Ellisman MH, Franken E, Grünewald K, Heriche J-K, Koster A, Kühlbrandt W, Lagerstedt I, Larabell C, Lawson CL, Saibil HR, Sanz-García E, Subramaniam S, Verkade P, Swedlow JR, Kleywegt GJ. 2014. A 3D cellular context for the macromolecular world. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 21(10):841-845.

Moser SC, Bensaddek D, Ortmann B, Maure J-F, Mudie S, Blow JJ, Lamond AI, Swedlow JR, Rocha S. 2013. PHD1 links cell-cycle progression to oxygen sensing through hydroxylation of the centrosomal protein Cep192. Developmental Cell. 26(4):381-392.

Porter I, Schleicher K, Porter M, Swedlow J. 2013. Bod1 regulates protein phosphatase 2A at mitotic kinetochores. Nature Communications. 4.

Allan C, Burel J-M, Moore J, Blackburn C, Linkert M, Loynton S, MacDonald D, Moore WJ, Neves C, Patterson A, Porter M, Tarkowska A, Loranger B, Avondo J, Lagerstedt I, Lianas L, Leo S, Hands K, Hay RT, Patwardhan A, Best C, Kleywegt GJ, Zanetti G, Swedlow JR. 2012. OMERO: flexible, model-driven data management for experimental biology. Nature Methods. 9(3):245-253.

Swedlow JR. 2012. Innovation in biological microscopy: current status and future directions. BioEssays.

Linkert M, Rueden CT, Allan C, Burel J-M, Moore W, Patterson A, Loranger B, Moore J, Neves C, MacDonald D, Tarkowska A, Sticco C, Hill E, Rossner M, Eliceiri KW, Swedlow JR. 2010. Metadata matters: access to image data in the real world. Journal of Cell Biology. 189(5):777-782.

Posch M, Khoudoli GA, Swift S, King EM, DeLuca JG, Swedlow JR. 2010. Sds22 regulates aurora B activity and microtubule-kinetochore interactions at mitosis. Journal of Cell Biology. 191(1):61-74.