SFU.CA Burnaby | Surrey | Vancouver
SFU Search

Lynne Quarmby, Professor

B.Sc., M.Sc. University of British Columbia
Ph.D. University of Connecticut

Phone: (778) 782-4474
Office: TASC II 8008
Email: quarmby@sfu.ca
Research website

Research Interest

Cilia and the Cell Cycle: Dissecting an enigmatic relationship

Research in the Quarmby lab is rooted in studies of calcium signaling and microtubule dynamics. Until recently, we were focused solely on understanding the mechanism by which cells shed their cilia (aka flagella) in response to stress. Through our work on the mechanism of deflagellation in the unicellular alga, Chlamydomonas, we discovered intriguing relationships between deflagellation, flagellar/ciliary assembly and the cell cycle. While we continue to use the awesome power of Chlamydomonas genetics, biochemistry and cell biology to study cilia and the cell cycle, we have extended our work into mammalian tissue culture cells. It is an underappreciated fact that most of the cells in the human body are ciliated; many of these cilia are tiny and immotile, while others are highly modified, nevertheless, they are critical to the proper functioning of the cell. Consequently, a number of human diseases, including polycystic kidney diseases, Bardet-Beidl syndrome, and various forms of retinal degeneration are being recognized as ciliopathies. Our studies of the flagella of a green alga are contributing directly to an understanding of the cell biological processes that underlie the etiology of human disease.

Selected Publications

  • Rasi, MQ, JDK Parker, JL Feldman, WF Marshall, & LM Quarmby (2009). Katanin knockdown supports a role for microtubule severing in release of basal bodies prior to mitosis in Chlamydomonas. Mol. Biol. Cell 20:379-388.
  • Quarmby, LM. (2009). Ciliary Ion Channels: Location, location, location. Current Biology 19: R158.
  • White, MC & LM Quarmby (2008). The NIMA-family kinase, Nek1, cycles through the nucleus and affects the stability of centrosomes and ciliogenesis. BMC Cell Biology 9:29 [ranked as “highly accessed”].
  • Trapp, ML, A Galtseva, DK Manning, DR Beier, ND Rosenblum & LM Quarmby (2008). Defects in ciliary localization of Nek8 in a subset of kidney tubules is associated with cystogenesis. Paediatric Nephrology 23: 377-387.
  • Otto, EA, ML Trapp, UT Schultheiss, LM Quarmby & F Hildebrandt (2008). Mutations in NIMA-related kinase NEK8 causes nephronophthisis in humans and affects ciliary and centrosomal localization. J. Am. Soc. Nephrology 19: 587-592.
  • Quarmby, LM (2008). Deflagellation. In The Chlamydomonas Sourcebook, Vol 3: Cell Motility and Behavior, edited by George B. Witman. Elsevier.
  • Parker, J.D.K., B.A. Bradley, M.C. White, A.O. Mooers & L.M. Quarmby (2007). Phylogenetic analysis of the Neks reveals early diversification of ciliary-cell cycle kinases. PLoS One. 10(2): e 1076.