Susan Dutcher

Professor of Genetics, Cell Biology and Physiology


As a graduate student at the University of Washington, Dutcher worked on the role of cell division cycle (CDC) genes in spindle pole body duplication with Dr. Lee Hartwell. While a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University, she began to work on cilia and centrioles in the unicellular eukaryotic alga, Chlamydomonas.  The lab investigates the assembly and function of basal bodies/centrioles and cilia using genetics, biochemistry, light and electon microscopy, and computational biology in Chlamydomonas as well as human tissue culture cells.  The key questions include how these microtubule-based structures are assembled and how they function and influence cellular biology, development, and human health.  Stemming from comparative genomics approaches in the lab, the discovery of many cilia/basal body based diseases has helped to illustrate the incredible breath of roles that these organelles play in human health.  The conservation of ciliary and centriolar proteins has provided us with a model organism to understand a variety of human diseases that range from polycystic kidney disease to respiratory infections to microcephaly to obesity.   In her spare time, she loves to travel to places around the world for great food and interesting walks.  She has visited six continents.

You can access Dr. Dutcher’s CV here.