Who we are...

We are a research laboratory located in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London.

What we do...

We perform research to understand the regulation of cell division. Cell division is the process that creates new cells to replace aged or damaged tissues in our body, however, uncontrolled cell division is the defining characteristic of cancer. We aim to determine how cell division is regulated to allow us to control this process. The ultimate aim is to be able to regulate cell division as a treatment for cancer and to promote cell division of stem cells for regenerative medicine.

A central hypothesis to our work is that the position of proteins within the cell controls cell division. We place normal proteins in different locations within the cell, next to new partner proteins, and test the effect upon cell division. Some of the resulting changes promote cell division, while others block it. We then use this knowledge to both understand how the normal process of cell division is controlled and furthermore to understand how it may be manipulated, for example in cancer therapy.

We principally use baker's yeast since this has a number of key advantages over human cells.

  • The yeast genes controlling cell division are essentially the same as human cells.

  • The yeast regulatory networks contain less redundancy and are therefore simpler to understand.

  • Experiments in yeast save both time and money compared with cultured human cells.

  • Yeast divide asymmetrically, like many human cells, providing a model to study how cells acquire different fates.

Using yeast as a tool we aim to elucidate methods to regulate human cell division.


Interested in working in our lab?



When funded positions become available, we advertise these jobs or studentships locally and nationally.

Students or graduates wishing to undertake projects in the lab for which they have, or wish to apply for, funding should contact Peter

Unfortunately, as we have limited space and consumable resources, therefore we are unable to offer lab experience placements / interns that are not funded. 

Recent publications

  • 2019 Howell, R.S.M., Csikász-Nagy, A. and Thorpe, P.H. Synthetic Physical Interactions with the yeast centrosome. Genes Genomes Genetics 9, 2183-2194. Featured Article.

  • 2019 Mishra, P.K., Ólafsson, G., Boeckmann, L., Westlake, T.J., Jowhar, Z.M., Dittman, L.E., Baker, R.E., D'Amours, D., Thorpe, P.H., and Basrai, M.A. Cell cycle dependent association of polo kinase Cdc5 with CENP-A contributes to faithful chromosome segregation in budding yeast. Mol. Biol. Cell 30, 1020-1036.

  • 2019 Guo, W., Kumar, S., Gorlitz, F., Garcia, E., Alexandrov, Y., Munro, I., Kelly, D., Warren, S., Thorpe, P., Dunsby, C. and French, P. Automated Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging High-Content Analysis of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer between Endogenously Labeled Kinetochore Proteins in Live Budding Yeast Cells. SLAS Technology 24, 308-320.

  • 2018 Ólafsson, G. and Thorpe P.H. Rewiring the budding yeast proteome using synthetic physical interactions. Methods Mol. Biol. 1672, 599-612.

  • 2016 Ledesma-Fernández, E., Thorpe P.H., de Bruin, R.A.M. Bringing Functional Genomics into Focus. Cell Systems 3, 214-216.

  • 2016 Ólafsson, G. and Thorpe P.H. Synthetic Physical Interactions Map Kinetochore-Checkpoint Activation Regions. Genes Genomes Genetics 6, 2531-2542.

  • 2016 Berry, L., Ólafsson, G., Ledesma-Fernández, E. and Thorpe P.H. (2016). Synthetic protein interactions reveal a functional map of the cell. eLife 5, e13053.

  • 2016 Herrero E. and Thorpe P.H. Synergistic control of kinetochore protein levels by Psh1 and Ubr2. PLoS Genetics 12, e1005855.

  • 2015 Ólafsson, G. and Thorpe P.H. Synthetic physical interactions map kinetochore regulators and regions sensitive to constitutive Cdc14 localization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112, 10413-10418. (Direct Submission)

  • 2015 Ledesma-Fernández, E. and Thorpe P.H. Fluorescent foci quantitation for high-throughput analysis. Journal of Biological Methods 2, e22.

  • 2012 Thorpe, P.H., and Rothstein, R. Visualizing global effects of the DNA damage response. Nature Cell Biology 14, 900-901.

  • 2012 Thorpe, P.H., Ditmar, J.D., & Rothstein, R. ScreenTroll: A searchable database to compare genome-wide yeast screens. Database bas022.

  • 2011 Thorpe, P.H., Alvaro, D., Lisby, M., & Rothstein, R. Bringing Rad52 into focus. Journal of Cell Biology 194, 665-667.

  • 2009 Thorpe, P.H., Bruno, J., & Rothstein, R. Kinetochore asymmetry defines a single yeast lineage. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106, 6673-6678.



Our research is, or has recently been, funded by the following organisations. Without their support our work would not be possible.

The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust

The Medical Research Council

The Medical Research Council

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council



Our location

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Queen Mary University of London
Fogg Building
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS

Nearest tube stations are Stepney Green (District line/Hammersmith & City Line) and Mile End (District line/Hammersmith & City Line / Central line).

E-mail enquires to Peter

G.E. Fogg building


glory.into.galaxy (What3words address)