Mark Alliegro is a distinguished scientist, researcher and educator. He is also a family man. Married for 32 years to Mary Anne, also a research scientist, they have two daughters, Nicole who is in broadcasting, and Kelly a Petty Officer in the United States Navy. Mark is a Senior Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, and a Professor of Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology & Biochemistry at Brown University. He holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, an M.S. in Marine Science from the University of Maryland, a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology from SUNY Buffalo, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University. His career path included serving as a Program Director for Molecular & Cellular Biosciences at the National Science Foundation and as an Instructor of Medical Histology at Harvard Medical School. The author of more than 40 scientific papers, Dr. Alliegro’s work has been published in such prestigious journals as: The Journal of Cell Biology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Developmental Biology. A concerned and involved citizen, Mark was a member of the New Orleans?Public School Partnership for Education, was named Louisiana School Volunteer of the Year in 2000, volunteered at Hospice Care of Louisiana, and is currently a Falmouth Town Meeting Member. As a cell biologist with a background in biochemistry and molecular biology, Dr. Mark Alliegro has researched the genesis of the cell division center (the centrosome in animal cells and its functional equivalents in others), both in the living cell and from an evolutionary standpoint. Biogenesis of the cell division center is of clear biomedical importance because it regulates the timing of the cell cycle as well as progression through the steps of normal chromosome segregation. At the same time, understanding the composition and dynamics of the centrosome will help to understand evolutionary relationships between the prokaryotic and eukaryotic worlds. Dr. Alliegro’s laboratory is credited with demonstrating the presence of nucleic acids in centrosomes, a long- and hotly-debated issue. To study the physiology and evolution of the centrosome, the Alliegro lab has developed a unique set of probes and approaches concentrating on the role of ribonucleoprotein complexes. These tools have already demonstrated that elements of the centrosome are derived from an enigmatic nuclear compartment known as the nucleolinus. High-throughput sequencing and analysis of unique libraries of centrosome- and nucleolinar-associated RNAs will enable the lab to evaluate the biological function and evolutionary relationships of these molecules.
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