- Higher Order Chromosome Structure is important for the integrity, transmission and expression of chromosomes. The molecular bases for the formation, maintenance and disassembly of higher order chromosome organization are major unsolved problems in cell biology.
- The Maintenance of Genome Integrity (chromosome number and integrity) is critical to prevent cell inviability, inherited disorders and disease. A major threat to genome integrity is breaks in the DNA that can be misrepaired to cause gross chromosomal rearrangements (GCR) such as translocations, internal deletions or terminal truncations. While the cause of DSBs and their repair have been studied intensively, major new discoveries will be required to explain the massive rearrangement of chromosomes associated with cancer.
- Stress Tolerance is fundametnal to an organisms ability to survive internal and environmental perturbations. We study stress response through the lens of desiccation tolerance, a remarkable trait found in rare species in all kingdoms of life. Desiccation tolerance has significant biomedical potential and will likely provide novel insights into the role of different cell biological processes and molecules in both making and mitigating stress.
My laboratory uses budding yeast to study fundamental processes in cell biology. Our approach has been to develop novel genetic reagents and cell biological methods to analyze these complex processes in vivo, coupled with the development and exploitation of in vitro assays to reveal underlying molecular mechanisms. Together these approaches have allowed us to make significant contributions to following three areas of research.