U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Kevin O'Connell

 Contact Info

Tel: 301-451-4557
Email: kevino@mail.nih.gov

 Select Experience

  • Senior InvestigatorNIDDK, NIH2010-present
  • InvestigatorNIDDK, NIH2002-2010
  • Assistant ScientistUniversity of Wisconsin1998-2002
  • NRSA FellowUniversity of Wisconsin1995-1998
  • Ph.D.University of Massachusetts Medical School1994
  • B.A.University of New Hampshire1986

 Related Links

  • Cell Biology/Cell Signaling
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics/Genomics
  • Molecular Biology/Biochemistry
Research Summary/In Plain Language

Research in Plain Language

The centrosome is a specialized component of animal cells that participates in a variety of essential cellular processes.  It does so through its ability to nucleate and organize microtubules, filamentous polymers that play a central role in the movement of cells and cellular constituents.  Our lab wants to understand how cells control centrosome number and size as these parameters are critically important for proper cell growth, and division.  To address these questions, we use the small nematode worm C. elegans as a simple animal model system.  Most worm genes have human counterparts and thus our identification of genes that control centrosome number and size in the worm can inform us about analogous processes that operate in humans.   During the last decade, it has become increasingly apparent that defects in centrosome number and size are associated with a variety of human diseases and thus a more complete understanding of how the centrosome is regulated will allow us to better understand how diseases arise as a result of centrosome dysfunction.