“Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.” — Marston Bates

Ann Cavanaugh

Assistant Professor
Evolution and Formation of Protein Complexes

Ph.D. – University of California, Los Angeles, 2015
B.S. – Creighton University, 2008

Department of Biology
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178-0103
Office: Hixson-Lied Science 445
Phone: 402-280-1877

Additional website: https://cavanaughlab.wordpress.com

Courses Offered

  • BIO 362 – Cell Structure and Function

Research Interests

In the Cavanaugh lab we use two related species of yeast, S. cerevisiae, and K. lactis, to study the organization, dynamics, and evolution of the spindle pole body (SPB). The SPB is a microtubule organizing center and serves to organize and regulate the formation of the mitotic spindle in yeast. Although the function of the SPB is vitally important for yeast reproduction, the structure and composition of this large, multi-protein structure varies widely across the yeast phyla. By studying the SPB in two species of budding yeast we hope to uncover mechanisms by which individual proteins are able to co-evolve as part of a large protein structure.

Scholarly Works


Cavanaugh, A. M. and S. L. Jaspersen. 2017. Big lessons from little yeast: Budding and fission yeast Centrosome Structure, Duplication, and Function. Annual Reviews Genetics. 51: 361-383.

Cavanaugh, A. M., J. Huang, J.-N. Chen. 2015. Two developmentally distinct populations of neural crest cells contribute to the zebrafish heart. Developmental Biology2): 103-112.

Patterson, R. A., A. M. Cavanaugh, V. Cantemir, P. R. Brauer, M. V. Reedy. 2013. MT2-MMP expression during early avian morphogenesis. The Anatomical Record. 296(1): 64-70.

Langenbacher, A. D., C. T. Nguyen, A. M. Cavanaugh, J. Huang, F. Lu, J.-N. Chen. 2011. The PAF1 complex differentially regulates cardiomyocyte specification. Developmental Biology. 353: 19-28.

O’Brien, G. S., S. Rieger, S. M. Martin, A. M. Cavanaugh, C. Portera-Cailliau, A. Sagasti. 2009. Two-photon axotomy and time-lapse confocal imaging in live zebrafish embryos. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 24: 1129.