Francis Barr is a cell biologist and biochemist working on the regulation of cell growth and division events. As a postdoctoral fellow with Graham Warren he identified new structural proteins of the Golgi apparatus that explain its profound structural rearrangements during the cell cycle. He has gone on to carry out ground-breaking studies on the role of Rab GTPases and their regulators in membrane trafficking. He demonstrated the function of Rab8 in primary cilium formation in human cells, and the molecular basis of altered membrane trafficking in human diseases including Hermansky Pudlak Syndrome, Geroderma Osteodyplastica, and Warburg Micro Syndrome. Barr’s work on cell cycle control of membrane trafficking processes has extended to the events leading up to cytokinesis. His work demonstrated that mammalian cells regulate cytokinesis by a novel mitotic kinesin MKlp2 required to transport Aurora B from centromeres to the central spindle at the onset of anaphase. Subsequently, he has shown how the key Aurora B substrate KIF4A regulates microtubule dynamics during anaphase central spindle length control. Barr also identified the mechanism controlling Plk1 localisation in human cells during anaphase, and showed that the key Plk1 substrate controlling the timing of abscission in cytokinesis is the Cep55 membrane-remodelling factor. His latest work has focused on the identification of regulatory phosphatases for the Plk1-PRC1 complex in anaphase. Together with Bela Novak he has developed an experimentally validated model explaining why cell cleavage initiates only after sister chromatid separation has occurred. In collaboration with Dr Gruneberg, he has shown how protein phosphatase 6 regulates the Aurora A kinase in mitosis, and how alterations to this enzyme may promote cancer.