Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (LBMB) carries out basic research into the mechanisms underlying cell growth, division, differentiation and homeostasis with a focus on the biology of chromosomes and the cell nucleus. LBMB fosters an interdisciplinary approach in which the methods of biophysics, biochemistry, genetics and cell biology are used in an interactive and collaborative research environment to solve problems of fundamental importance. The Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is a merger of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and the Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology. It was officially inaugurated in October 2006.
Understanding Uniparental Disomy
Shiv Grewal investigates the mechanisms of heterochromatin assembly and their roles in maintaining genome stability using the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as a model system. A major focus is the role of RNAi in processing transcripts generated from repetitive elements at centromeres, telomeres and the mat locus to target and establish constitutive heterochromatin at these regions. Recently, his lab has begun to elucidate the role of RNAi-dependent and RNAi-independent mechanisms in establishing facultative heterochromatin in different parts of the genome.
Michael Lichten investigates mechanisms of DNA damage repair and homologous recombination, focusing on meiotic recombination in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. His group examines the impact of chromatin structure, chromosome structure, and chromosome replication on the distribution and outcome of meiotic recombination events. The roles of DNA repair, the DNA damage response, and cell cycle regulatory proteins in homologous recombination are also explored.
Yawen Bai investigates the mechanism of protein folding and chromatin dynamics using biophysical techniques, including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). His research is focused on determining high-resolution structures of protein folding intermediates, histone variants in complex with their chaperones, and nucleosomes in complex with nucleosome-binding proteins. His laboratory also helps other NCI investigators determine the structures of proteins to aid in cancer drug design.
Alex Kelly investigates the mechanisms by which chromatin structure and modification coordinate the key events of mitosis. He employs a combination of biochemical reconstitution, structural biology and cell biology to understand how localized biochemical reactions on chromosomes are initiated and controlled to ensure high-fidelity chromosome segregation.
Joana Vidigal is examining the mechanisms through which small noncoding RNA pathways regulate gene expression during animal development, tissue homeostasis, and disease.
Chongyi Chen investigates the mechanistic link between DNA topology, chromatin structure and gene expression, from a single-cell and genome-wide perspective. The lab develops and employs cutting-edge technology in single-cell omics and imaging to study chromosome biology in mammalian systems.
Bruce Paterson pioneered the use of cell-free protein synthesis systems in the analysis of gene function. He co-developed the wheat-germ cell-free protein synthesis system, one of the first methods used to analyze functional mRNA levels in normal and transformed cells and tissues. He has been a major contributor to the study of myogenesis in both vertebrates and in Drosophila, and was one of the first to demonstrate RNAi knock-down to study gene function during Drosophila development.
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Center for Cancer Research National Cancer Institute
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