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Philip Jordan, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E8626
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

+1 (410) 955 2926

BMB webpage:


PhD, University of Edinburgh, 2006


Our goal is to decipher the mechanisms required for successful transmission of the genome from one generation to the next. For the formation of genetically normal sperm and eggs, chromosomes must segregate accurately during a specialized cell cycle known as meiosis. However, approximately 10% of clinically reported pregnancies are chromosomally abnormal, resulting in pregnancy loss or genetic defects such as Down syndrome [Hassold and Hunt, Nature Reviews Genetics (2001), Vol. 2 (4) p280].

Meiosis involves chromosome replication and two rounds of chromosome segregation (meiosis I and II), resulting in the formation of up to four haploid gametes (sperm and egg). Meiosis I differs from mitosis because homologous chromosomes segregate, whereas sister chromatids remain associated until meiosis II. For successful chromosome segregation during meiosis I, homologous chromosomes need to become linked. Linkage occurs during meiotic prophase I via two co-ordinated events: 1) homologous recombination which repairs endonuclease-induced DNA double-strand breaks and 2) the formation the synaptonemal complex, a zipper-like protein complex that is synthesized between homologous chromosomes. Our lab uses budding yeast and the mouse as model organisms to determine the mechanisms that orchestrate DNA recombination and synaptonemal complex dynamics with homologous chromosome segregation.



Philip Jordan - Principle Investigator

Marina Pryzhkova - Postdoctoral researcher

András Horváth - Postdoctoral researcher

Grace Hwang - 4th year PhD student

Jessica Hopkins - 3rd year PhD student

Stephen Wellard - 2nd year PhD student

Miebaka Jamabo - ScM Masters student

Graduated students:

Ayobami Ward - ScM Masters student - 2015

Himaja Gaddipati - ScM Masters student - 2015


Honors and Awards

2015: Johns Hopkins Discovery Award

2014: Ho-Ching Yang Memorial Faculty Fellowship in Cancer Prevention

2013: R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award, NICHD

2011: K99 NIH Pathway to Independence Award, NICHD

2010: US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award, US-UK Fulbright Commission

2006: Federation of European Biochemical Societies Research Award

2005: Society for General Microbiology President’s Research Award and post-funding prize

2005: European Unions’ ERASMUS Student Mobility Award

2004: British Council - Austrian Academic Research Collaboration Award

2002: Darwin Trust International PhD Scholarship, University of Edinburgh, Scotland


  • Genome maintenance, Meiosis, Embryonic stem cells, DNA recombination, Chromosome segregation, Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC), SMC5/6, Synaptonemal complex, Polo-like kinase (PLK), Cohesin, Aurora kinase (AURK)

Chromatin spread of a mouse spermatocyte at mid-prophase I (pachytene stage). The autosomes are fully synapsed and the X-Y chromosomes are paired at the pseudo-autosomal region.

Segregation of homologous chromosomes during the first meiotic division in a mouse oocyte.

Segregation of homologous chromosomes during the first meiotic division in a mouse oocyte.

  • Jordan P, Klein F, Leach D, (2007), Novel roles for selected genes in meiotic DNA processing.  PLoS Genetics, 12:e222.  

    > Jordan P, Copsey A, Newnham L, Kolar E, Lichten M and Hoffmann E, (2009), Ipl1/Aurora B kinase coordinates synaptonemal complex disassembly with cell cycle progression and crossover formation in budding yeast meiosis. Genes and Development, 23 (18):2237-2251.

    > Newnham L, Jordan P, Rockmill B, Roeder S and Hoffmann E, (2010), The synaptonemal complex protein, Zip1, promotes the segregation of nonexchange chromosomes at meiosis I. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107 (2):781-785.

    > Jordan P, Karpinnen J and Handel MA, (2012), Polo-like kinase is required for synaptonemal complex disassembly in mouse spermatocytes. Journal of Cell Science, 125:5061-5072.

    > Gómez R*, Jordan P*, Viera A, Alsheimer M, Fukuda T, Jessberger R, Llano E, Pendás A, Handel MA and Suja J, (2013), Dynamic localization of SMC5/6 complex proteins during mammalian meiosis and mitosis implies functions in distinct chromosome processes. Journal of Cell Science, 126:4239-4252.

    Authors contributed equally to this work

    > Copsey A*, Tang S*, Jordan P* , Blitzblau H, Sonya Newcombe S, Andrew Chi-ho Chan A, Newnham L, Li Z, Gray S, Herbert A, Arumugam P, Hochwagen A, Hunter N, and Hoffmann E, (2013), Smc5/6 coordinates formation and resolution of joint molecules with chromosome morphology to ensure meiotic divisions. PLoS Genetics, 9: e1004071

    Authors contributed equally to this work

    > Newnham L*, Jordan P*, Carballo J, Newcombe S and Hoffmann E, (2013), Ipl1/Aurora kinase suppresses S-CDK-driven spindle formation during prophase to ensure chromosome integrity during meiosis. PLoS One, 8: e83982

    Authors contributed equally to this work

    > Hopkins J, Hwang G*, Jacob J*, Sapp N*, Bedigian R, Oka K, Overbeek P, Murray S and Jordan P, (2014), Meiosis-specific cohesin component, Stag3 is essential for mediating recombination and synapsis between homologous chromosomes and maintaining sister chromatid cohesion. PLoS Genetics, e1004413.

      * Authors contributed equally to this work

    > Verver D, Langedijk N, Jordan P, Repping S and Hamer G, (2014), The Smc5/6 complex is involved in crucial processes during human spermatogenesis. Biology of Reproproduction, 91:22.

    > Verver D.E*., Hwang G.*, Jordan P.# and Hamer G.#, (2015), “Resolving complex chromosome structures during meiosis: versatile deployment of Smc5/6”, Chromosoma, In Press.

      * Authors contributed equally to this work

       # corresponding authors