Iain Cheeseman, Ph.D.

Whitehead Institute

Iain Cheeseman studies the mechanisms that regulate cell division and chromosome segregation. His lab discovered numerous components of the core cell division machinery (termed the kinetochore) and has been instrumental in combining these individual pieces to generate an integrated molecular model for kinetochore function, with critical relevance to both fundamental cellular processes and diseases such as cancer. He and his colleagues are now focused on how these core cell-division processes are rewired across different physiological contexts. He has also developed approaches for large-scale phenotypic screening of cells in culture, working to enable cell biology at scale.

A Member of the Whitehead Institute and the Herman and Margaret Sokol Professor of Biology at MIT since 2007, Cheeseman is an alumnus of Duke University, graduating in 1997 with a B.S. in Biology. He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley in 2002 and completed postdoctoral work in the lab of Arshad Desai at UC San Diego.

Cheeseman’s honors include the Harold W. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, the Searle Scholar Award, and the American Society for Cell Biology’s Early Career Life Scientist Award in 2012. He was an ASCB Keith R. Porter Fellow in 2013, and in 2019, he was named Outstanding Mentor by the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Photo of Iain Cheeseman, Ph.D.