During my graduate work with Keith Porter, I became fascinated by the mitotic spindle, an interest that has motivated much of my scientific work ever since. I began spindle studies by using electron microscopes, instruments that have made significant contributions to our understanding of spindle organization. Such instruments have helped to elucidate the distributions of spindle microtubules, the interactions among them, their molecular polarity, and their associations with both kinetochores and spindle poles. Our lab has also investigated some processes of spindle physiology: microtubule dynamics, the actions of microtubule-associated proteins (including motor enzymes), the character of forces generated by specific spindle components, and factors that control mitotic progression. Here, I give a personal perspective on some of this intellectual history and on what recent discoveries imply about the mechanisms of chromosome motion.


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