School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Lakxmi Subramanian


Lecturer in Biochemistry / Physiology

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 7701
Room Number: Room 4.34, Fogg building



2010 PhD, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

2004 BTech, Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University, Chennai, India

Positions Held

2017- Lecturer, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, UK

2010-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, The University of Edinburgh, UK

2004-2010Predoctoral Fellow/Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

2003-2004 Attachment Student, Institute of Molecular & Cell Biology, Singapore

2003 Summer Research Trainee, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India

2002 Summer Intern, Reliance Life Sciences Ltd., Mumbai, India

Awards and Honours

2013-2014 EMBO Long Term Fellowship

2011-2013 EC Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship

2009-2010 American Heart Association-Henrietta Lange Burk Fund Predoctoral Fellowship (competitive renewal)

2009-2010 Dean's Scholar Award, University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate College (declined)

2007-2009 American Heart Association Greater Midwest Predoctoral Fellowship


Research Interests:

The main focus of the Subramanian Lab is to understand how chromosomes are accurately segregated during cell division. Chromosome mis-segregation can lead to aneuploidy and consequently cancer. It can also lead to conditions such as Down’s syndrome where an abnormal chromosome copy number following meiosis causes developmental defects. In order to be able to devise effective therapeutic strategies against the myriad of disorders that errors in chromosome integrity and copy number can cause, it is essential to study and fully dissect the process of chromosome segregation.

We are mainly interested in the regulation and function of centromeres, originally defined by Walther Flemming as the ‘primary constrictions’ on chromosomes. Centromeres play a key role in assembling kinetochores that attach to spindle microtubules to ensure accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis. Interestingly, centromeres are thought to be epigenetically inherited, as DNA sequence is neither necessary nor sufficient for centromere function. The Subramanian lab aims to answer the fundamental questions: what dictates the formation of a centromere, and how is it epigenetically inherited? Our current efforts are focussed on dissecting the mechanisms by which highly conserved centromere-specific proteins including Mis18, HJURP and associated factors mediate the establishment of a specialized chromatin state at centromeres, through the assembly of the centromere-specific histone protein CENP-A. We primarily use the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as our model organism of choice. Given the high level of conservation of centromere architecture and centromere proteins, future projects will involve translation of our findings from fission yeast into other model organisms.

Research department


PhD Supervision

Current PhD Opportunity:

Centromere inheritance in S. pombe and beyond