February 15, 2002

Hardy accepts position in Cell and Developmental Biology

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Christopher F. J. Hardy, Ph.D., will join the faculty in Cell and Developmental Biology in July.

Hardy accepts position in Cell and Developmental Biology

Christopher F. J. Hardy, Ph.D., has accepted the position of associate professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Hardy will officially start his faculty appointment on July 1, 2002.

Hardy’s research interests are focused on cell cycle regulation in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using an approach combining genetics and cell biology.

His lab has made a number of contributions to the field, including establishing a functional link between proteins involved at origins of DNA replication and the kinase (Dbf4-Cdc7) required for initiation of DNA replication. In addition, Hardy’s work has provided evidence of a novel link between Cd5—a protein kinase implicated in regulation of mitotic cell division—and Dbf4-Cdc7.

The lab has also found evidence that Cd5 acts as a negative regulator of a specific tyrosine kinase, Swe1, in the pathway that coordinates entry of cell into mitosis. Comparison of this finding with studies performed in Xenopus suggests significant complexity in the interaction of multiple partners within the kinase family, an idea his lab plans to test further.

More recently, the lab has found that Cdc5 interacts with factors that regulate inheritance of a specific organelle, the yeast vacuole, during the S and G2 phases of the cell cycle. This link suggests that Cdc5, a protein that plays key roles in triggering mitosis, may also be involved in shutting down mitosis as the cell enters the S and G2 phases.

Hardy received his doctoral degree in microbiology at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, in 1991. After a short post-doctoral fellowship training at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, he took an independent post-doctoral position in Cell Biology & Physiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and then joined the faculty in that same department in 1996.

Hardy says he expects the move to Vanderbilt to be a positive and fulfilling experience, both professionally and personally.

“This is a wonderful opportunity, bringing with it a chance to foster new and novel collaborations with a very talented group of scientists,” he said. “I am very excited about moving my lab and family to Nashville.”