The laboratory of Paraskevi Giannakakou, Ph.D., focuses on the study of the microtubule cytoskeleton of cells and the anti-tumor drugs that target microtubules. Our research is focused on developing an understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of action of these drugs and of resistance to them, as well as the little-understood functional consequences of drug-induced microtubule disruption and cell death. Microtubules are unique in that they fill the entire cytoplasm from just outside the nucleus all the way to the plasma membrane, providing ample surface for protein-protein interactions; and also in that they have inherent polarity, allowing for the directional flow of information within the cell. As a result, small molecules that target microtubules will disrupt all of these interactions and signal cascades, in addition to affecting mitosis.