DNA Repair


Accurate chromosomal DNA replication is of fundamental importance for cellular function, genome integrity and development. In response to replication perturbations, DNA damage response (DDR) and DNA damage tolerance (DDT) pathways become activated and are crucial for detection and tolerance of lesions, as well as for replication completion and chromosome structural integrity.
While important functions and key players of these regulatory processes have been outlined, much less is known about the mechanistic interplay between them. Moreover, the principles by which they uniquely or commonly affect replication-associated chromosome integrity and chromosome structure remain poorly understood.


Ongoing Research Projects

Our research spans three major areas:

  1. DNA damage tolerance and recombination mechanisms and principles that regulate their usage;
  2. Pathways that facilitate and coordinate replication of structured DNA and repair of endogenous lesions, with a focus on natural pausing sites, endogenous abasic sites and metabolic formaldehyde;
  3. Chromosome structure establishment pathways, with a focus on SMC biology, primarily cohesin and Smc5/6.


We are using budding yeast, vertebrate (avian DT40 cells) and mammalian cell lines and zebrafish, and employ genetic, molecular, biochemical and proteomic-based experimental strategies.