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overview DNA damage occurs tens of thousands of times per day in human cells from both endogenous and environmental sources. In order to preserve the genetic material, cells have evolved multiple mechanisms to detect and repair DNA damage. However, inaccurate DNA repair can cause genomic instability such as chromosomal rearrangements and expansion of repetitive sequences which can lead to the development of cancer or diseases such as Fragile X Syndrome. One area my research focuses on is the enzymes that regulate the DNA damage response. In particular, I am interested in a family of enzymes called helicases which remove secondary structures from DNA and RNA. At least 10 different human helicases are involved in DNA repair. My research is focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of these enzymes using biophysical and biochemical techniques including ensemble and single molecule kinetics, proteomics, and genomics. The molecular mechanisms of these proteins, both individually and as components of multi-protein complexes, are of interest, as are the effects of posttranslational modifications on their activity.

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