Research in our laboratory focuses upon the fundamental "rules" which operate to maintain genomic stability in the cell. During cellular replication, whether in bacterial or human cells, each chromosome is processively replicated in its exact linear order until the precise point when the genomic template has been duplicated. As a cancer biologist, I am interested in how this fundamentally conserved process is regulated and maintained. Through these studies, I also hope to understand the molecular events which can lead this normally faithful process of duplication to sometimes become less than perfect.
Some of our recent research has concentrated upon how the DNA replication machinery accurately duplicates the chromosomal material when some of the genetic information has been damaged by exposure to UV-irradiation. Inaccurate replication caused by DNA damage is believed to produce most of the genomic rearrangements and mutations which can lead to cancer. Our laboratory uses a variety of molecular and cellular techniques to identify how the cell is able to repair and replicate the damaged DNA without errors, such that these mutagenic consequences can be avoided.
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