David Higgins

Microtubules are cable-like structures that provide structure and organization to eukaryotic cells. The organization of microtubules in plants is not dependent upon a single organizing structure as in animal and yeast cells and is not fully understood. My research focuses on better understanding how microtubules organize in different ways throughout the cell cycle, particularly related to the mitotic and meiotic spindle.

Areas of Research: 
Cellular and Developmental Biology; Molecular Genetics

Major Professor: 
Research Projects: 

Broadly speaking, my dissertation is focused on learning about meiosis, 
the reductional cell division which produces gametes. I study spindle 
structure, chromosome segregation, and selfish meiotic elements in 
maize, which has served as a model for cytogenetics for over a century. 
I address questions including how spindles form and how selfish elements 
evolve and persist using tools ranging from fluorescent microscopy to 

Recent Publications: