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Kerry Bloom, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Thad L. Beyle Distinguished Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Biology Department. Bloom Lab is interested in the mechanisms of chromosome segregation.

Thad L Beyle Distinguished Professor and Chair of Biology
UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Cell Biology

Area of Interest

My laboratory takes an integrative approach to understand the structural basis of chromosome segregation. Together with physicists and applied mathematicians we build mathematical models that recapitulate chromosome and microtubule dynamics. Using live cell imaging to quantitate chromosome motion together with coarse-grained models of the thermodynamics of long-chain polymers we embarked on a project to define, for the first time, the organization and function of over 1 million base pairs of DNA in the centromere. The centromere is the chromosomal site where the kinetochore is assembled, and where centromere DNA is physically coupled to microtubules. We found that the centromere is organized into loops that exert tension via a bottle-brush configuration that has literally changed the paradigm from a passive centromere DNA binding site to an active participant in partitioning chromosomes. The research represents the forefront in our challenge to deduce structures of large macromolecular complexes in living cells in real-time.

Find publications on Pubmed

Awards and Honors

  • Co-Director of the Science Writers Fellowship Program at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
  • Director (1997-1998) of the Physiology Course
  • UNC’s highest research award, the Ruth and Philip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement (1989)
  • Career Development award from the National Institutes of Health (1987-1992)
  • Invited Instructor (1985-1990, 1995-1996)
  • Symposium Speaker Annual Meeting of the American Society of Cell Biologists, Dec. 1984; Dec. 2002
Headshot of Kerry Bloom.