Kim Nasmyth is a biochemist whose work on the molecular genetics of yeast has significantly advanced our knowledge of how gene activity and cell division is controlled. Kim detailed many genetic controls in yeast and has used mutant strains to search out and characterise key proteins and processes for healthy cell division.
Leading research to identify genetic mutations that prevent yeast cells from dividing, Kim helped to shape our understanding of cell cycle controls and effectors. By studying one such mutant, Kim co-discovered cohesin, a protein complex that holds sister chromosomes together until they are segregated into daughter cells.
Kim settled a question of scientific disagreement by showing that the three subunits of cohesin form a triangular snare, physically trapping paired chromosomes until they need to separate for cell division. His research holds potential for future approaches to stabilise cell division in attempts to cure cancer.
Interest and expertise
Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)
Croonian Medal and Lecture
On 'Disseminating our genomes during mitosis and meiosis'.