LMCB - Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology

Chantal Roubinet's picture

Research Associate at LMCB & MRC-LMB, Baum Lab


Europe PMC | PubMed | Researchgate | ORCID

Twitter  @Roubinet31



Research synopsis

My research interests are focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying the process of mitosis, in particular how cells and nuclei divide to generate cell diversity. Thus, I started my career on a simple question: how do cells change shape during division? To tackle this question, I chose to study the cortical remodelling that occurs during symmetrical divisions using Drosophila cells in culture. This PhD work, done in both the S. Carréno (Canada) and F. Payre (France) labs, led us to understand how regulatory networks drive the successive changes in shape that accompany cell division, and how this is synchronized with chromatid segregation. I then focused on another question related to mitosis: how do stem cells generate cellular diversity? To this end, I joined the lab of C. Cabernard (Switzerland) to study asymmetric stem cell division and cell fate acquisition using an in vivo model system, Drosophila neural stems cells. This first postdoctoral work revealed how the asymmetric cortical expansion (polarity-dependent) and the site of cleavage furrow formation (spindle-dependent) are coupled to regulate the physical asymmetry of cell division. Also, in collaboration with the M. Affolter Lab (Switzerland), I developed genetically-encoded tools based on nanobody-technology to manipulate asymmetric stem cell division and assess the functional consequences on cell fate. Finally, for my second postdoc, I decided to address a central and much less studied part of mitosis: how do nuclei divide? To do so, I chose to join the B. Baum Lab (UK) to explore the process of nuclear envelope remodelling during mitosis, using Drosophila and mammalian model systems. I have now completed a first study on the mechanisms underlying asymmetric nuclear division in neural stem cells and how it contributes to cell fate acquisition (more information available here). This has been a revelation. Indeed, some of the most fundamental questions of eukaryotic biology that remain to be answered are related to nuclear division, making this process so fascinating for me. For example, although the nuclei are the defining feature of eukaryotic cells, it is still unknown why across eukaryotes, cells have developed so many strategies to divide their nucleus (namely closed, semi-closed and open mitosis). My goal is now to investigate the molecular mechanisms at play during mitotic nuclear envelope remodelling, from closed to open mitosis, and how asymmetric nuclear division contributes to cell fate acquisition/diversity.


2017 – present | Research Associate, LMCB, University College London & MRC-LMB, Cambridge
2012 - 2017 | Postdoctoral Fellow, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland
2007 - 2011 | PhD in Cancer Biology, University of Toulouse, France
2007 - 2011 | PhD in Molecular Biology, University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2007 | Master 2 in Biology of Cancer - ranked 2nd/19. University of Toulouse, France
2006 | Master 1 in Cellular Physiology and Physiopathology - 3rd/129. University of Toulouse, France
2005 | Bachelor in Cellular Biology - ranked 11/206. University of Toulouse, France
2004 | Bachelor in General Biology. University of Toulouse, France
2002 | Technician Certificate: Biological Analysis and Biotechnology


2021 | EMBO/EMBL Symposium “Seeing is Believing: Imaging the Molecular Processes of Life”. Best poster
2021 | Cell polarity and membrane dynamics EMBO workshop. Best talk
2021 | 1st prize at the annual image competition from the British Society for Cell Biology
2019 | 33th Annual French Drosophila Conference. Best talk
2018 | 58th Annual ASCB Meeting, San Diego, USA. Travel grant
2017 | Swiss Drosophila Meeting, Bern, Switzerland. Best talk
2016 | 3rd Stem Cell & Developmental Biology Meeting, Strasbourg, France. Best poster
2016 | 12th International Congress of Cell Biology, Prague, Czech Republic. Travel grant
2015 | 31st Ernst Klenk Symposium in molecular medicine, Koeln, Germany. Best poster & talk
2013 | 53th Annual ASCB Meeting, New Orleans, USA. Travel grant
2012 | Long‐Term Postdoc Fellowship EMBO; 2 years
2012 | Postdoc Fellowship from the Association for Research on Cancer (ARC); 3 years (declined)
2011 | Career Award from ARC, Paris, France; “Alexandre Joël” award; 3500 Euros
2010 | Ph.D Fellowship from ARC; 1 year
2010 | 16th Annual Research Day of the Molecular Biology Program, IRIC, Montreal, Canada. Best talk
2009 | Short‐Term Fellowship EMBO
2009 | 15th Annual Research Day of the Molecular Biology Program, IRIC, Montreal, Canada. Best poster
2008 | LAVOISIER Ph.D Fellowship; 18 months
2008 | ATUPS Ph.D Fellowship (from the University Paul Sabatier)
2008 | 16th Annual Research Day of Ph.D in Biology from Toulouse, France. Best talk
2007 | Ph.D Fellowship from the French Ministry of Research; 3 years


Medical Research Council
Cancer Research UK

Research themes

Open / Semi-closed / Closed Mitosis
Asymmetric stem cell division
Polarity and cell shape
Mitotic nuclear envelope remodelling / Nuclear division
Cell fate acquisition
Cortical remodelling


Light microscopy
Super-resolution microscopy
Electron microscopy