Frank Uhlmann

Cell Biology

Frank Uhlmann

Specially Appointed Professor

Chromosome dynamicscell cycleChromosome segregation


Frank Uhlmann was born and grew up in Germany. He studied biochemistry and physiological chemistry at the University of Tübingen before joining Jerry Hurwitz's laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York for his PhD studies. Frank then moved to the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria, to work as a postdoc with Kim Nasmyth. In 2000, he established a research laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. He has remained there ever since, while the institute became part of Cancer Research UK and now The Francis Crick Institute. His work on chromosome segregation was recognised with the EMBO Gold Medal in 2006, he was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 2015. Frank is affiliated with the Tokyo Institute of Technology as a visiting Professor since 2017.

Expectations for WRHI

Progress in research is built on new ideas that we obtain from opening new horizons. The WRHI allows me to experience an additional world of excellent science, in addition to my usual surroundings in London. This is immensely enriching. In return, I hope that my own experience contributes to the breadth of knowledge at the WRHI at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Research Projects

  • Our lab has contributed over the years to understand how this ring-shaped multi-subunit cohesin complex works to build sister chromatid cohesion.


Research Scientist, Imperial Cancer Research Fund


Senior Group Leader, Cancer Research UK London Research Institute


Senior Group Leader, The Francis Crick Institute


Specially Appointed Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology


Promotionspreis, Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacology, University of Tübingen


EMBO Young Investigator


Balfour Lecturer of the Genetics Society


Hook Medal of the British Society for Cell Biology


EMBO Member

EMBO Gold Medal


Fellow of the Royal Society


Lengronne, Y. Katou, S. Mori, S. Yokobayashi, G. P. Kelly, T. Itoh, Y. Watanabe, K. Shirahige and F. Uhlmann (2004) Cohesin relocation from sites of chromosomal loading to places of convergent transcription. Nature 430, 573-578


T. Higuchi and F. Uhlmann (2005) Stabilisation of microtubule dynamics at anaphase onset promotes chromosome segregation. Nature 433, 171-176


E. Queralt, C. Lehane, B. Novak and F. Uhlmann (2006) Net1 phosphorylation and mitotic exit initiated by separase-dependent down-regulation of PP2ACdc55 phosphatase. Cell 125, 719-732


T. Rolef Ben-Shahar, S. Heeger, C. Lehane, P. East, H. Flynn, M. Skehel and F. Uhlmann(2008) Eco1-dependent cohesin acetylation during establishment of sister chromatid cohesion. Science 321, 563-566


S. Lopez-Aviles, O. Kapuy, B. Novak and F. Uhlmann (2009) Irreversibility of mitotic exit is the consequence of systems level feedback. Nature 459, 592-595


C. Bouchoux and F. Uhlmann (2011) A quantitative model for ordered Cdk substrate dephosphorylation during mitotic exit. Cell 147, 803-814


Y. Murayama and F. Uhlmann (2014) Biochemical reconstitution of topological DNA binding by the cohesin ring. Nature 505, 367-371


Y. Murayama and F. Uhlmann (2015) DNA entry into and exit out of the cohesin ring by an interlocking gate mechanism. Cell 163, 1628-1640


Yasuto Murayama, Catarina P. Samora, Yumiko Kurokawa, Hiroshi Iwasaki, Frank Uhlmann(2018) Establishment of DNA-DNA interactions by the cohesin ring. Cell  172, 465-477