We are interested in how a cell maintains its genome. This simple basic science question has very important implications for human health. Defects in genome maintenance cause cancer and many other diseases including neurodegenerative disorders and premature ageing.
Genome maintenance includes many cellular activities. Replicating DNA, detoxifying environmental mutagens, properly building a mitotic spindle to segregate replicated chromosomes, and repairing damaged DNA are only a few of the activities required for genome maintenance. We have focused our attention on the regulation of these diverse biological activities in particular when cells are challenged with DNA damage. Collectively this regulation is called the DNA damage response
We use a multidisciplinary approach to this research including biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, and structural biology in both mammalian and yeast systems. On any one day in the lab there may be a student or post-doc analyzing proteomics data
, examining the localization of a protein by immunofluorescence microscopy
, performing an RNAi functional genomics screen
in human cells, studying signaling in the budding yeast S. cerevisiae
, analyzing NMR data
, introducing a mutation into a gene, and transfecting genes or siRNAs into human cultured cells. This variety of approaches provides both exciting opportunities for discovery as well as a rich atmosphere for training graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.