Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Academic Visitor







Blackett LaboratorySouth Kensington Campus





All living systems depend on multicomponent macromolecular machines called organelles. Although we know many of the proteins which group together into organelles, the underlying processes which allow organelle assembly are not understood.

One focus of my work is on centrosomes; organelles which allow cells to respond to growth signals, move, change shape and divide. I study centrosome assembly and function using cutting edge tools from quantitative live cell imaging, genome editing and biochemistry. The overarching questions which drive my research are:

- How does centrosomal structure self-organise from protein subunits?

- What are the molecular programmes which control changes in centrosomal state?

- How are organelles altered during pathology and can we therapeutically rebuild and repair them?



Mahen R, 2021, The structure and function of centriolar rootlets, Journal of Cell Science, Vol:134, ISSN:0021-9533

Lee M, Shorthouse D, Mahen R, et al., 2021, Cancer-causing BRCA2 missense mutations disrupt an intracellular protein assembly mechanism to disable genome maintenance, Nucleic Acids Research, Vol:49, ISSN:0305-1048, Pages:5588-5604

Nicolai S, Mahen R, Raschella G, et al., 2020, ZNF281 is recruited on DNA breaks to facilitate DNA repair by non-homologous end joining, Oncogene, Vol:39, ISSN:0950-9232, Pages:754-766

Mahen R, Schulte R, 2019, Cell-cell Fusion of Genome Edited Cell Lines for Perturbation of Cellular Structure and Function, Jove-journal of Visualized Experiments, ISSN:1940-087X

Sharma P, Mahen R, Rossmann M, et al., 2019, A cryptic hydrophobic pocket in the polo-box domain of the polo-like kinase PLK1 regulates substrate recognition and mitotic chromosome segregation, Scientific Reports, Vol:9, ISSN:2045-2322

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