David Glover has made critical advances in understanding the biochemical mechanisms that control cell division — a process essential to growth and repair in living things that becomes disrupted in cancer. His major contribution was the discovery of two families of enzymes, Polo and Aurora, which help to organise the spatial rearrangement of the cell’s internal scaffolding before it divides.
Because these mechanisms are fundamental to life, David has been able to carry out his work in the rapidly dividing cells of fruit fly embryos before looking for corresponding enzymes in human cells. As cancers can result when cell division is not properly controlled, David works closely with cancer biologists with the aim of finding out more about the causes of the disease.
Through such collaborations, David has discovered that the human counterparts of Polo and Aurora are over-active in many tumours. Together with the pharmaceutical industry, small molecule inhibitors of these enzymes have been developed.
Group Leader, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge
Editor in Chief, Open Biology , The Royal Society
Interests and expertise
Cell division analysis,
Cilia and signalling,
Mitotic protein kinases,
Mitotic protein phosphatases,