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Richard Mako Saito, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Genetics


University of California, Los Angeles - PhD 1996

Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Programs

Contact Information:

Department of Genetics/DMS
7400 Remsen
Hanover, NH 03755

Office: 720 Remsen
Phone: 603-650-1121
Fax: 603-650-1188
Email: Richard.M.Saito@Dartmouth.edu

Professional Interests:

The goal of our studies is to identify the genes and mechanisms used to regulate cell-cycle entry in the context of normal animal development. Commonly, organogenesis requires that timing of proliferation and differentiation be coordinated between cells. Thus, cells must be able to efficiently communicate with their neighbors and respond to the signals as disruption of this process may lead to developmental defects. Deregulated cell-cycle entry may disturb normal development by producing cells with inappropriate timing or number. Additionally, abnormal progression into the cell cycle, for example by ectopic activation of either cyclin D or cyclin E, has been demonstrated to result in centrosome and mitotic spindle abnormalities followed by defects in chromosomal segregation. Of particular interest to our studies, deregulation of human Cdc14A also gives rise to centrosomal and chromosomal defects. As chromosomal aberrations are commonly associated with spontaneous abortion, birth defects and cancer, uncovering the organization of the cell-division regulatory network is crucial for our understanding of normal development.

Grant Information:

2007-2012 NIH RO1-GM077031 "Genetic and biochemical analysis of cdc-14"

Courses Taught:

Biochemistry 101
Genetics 147
Genetics 267

Selected Publications:


  • Clayton J.E., S.J.L. van den Heuvel and R.M. Saito Transcriptional control of cell-cycle quiescence during C. elegans development. Dev. Biol. 313: 603-613 (view details on MedLine)

  • Saito, R.M., A. Perreault, B. Peach, J.S. Satterlee and S. van den Heuvel The cdc-14 phosphatase controls developmental cell-cycle arrest in C. elegans. Nature Cell Biol. 6:777-83. (view details on MedLine)

  • Saito, R.M. and S. van den Heuvel Malignant worms: what cancer research can learn from C. elegans. Cancer Invest. 20:264-75 (view details on MedLine)