James E. Haber

Brandeis University


Election Year: 2010
Primary Section: 26, Genetics
Secondary Section: 21, Biochemistry
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

Haber's lab focuses on mechanisms of DNA repair, especially of double-strand chromosome breaks, primarily using budding yeast as a model organism.  His lab has developed assays for the study of nonhomologous end-joining and microhomology-mediated end-joining as well as for several pathways of homologous recombination, including gene conversion, break-induced replication and single-strand annealing. A major interest is in the the way homologous sequences are searched for within the nucleus and the tolerance of the repair machinery for mismatched recombining partners in mitotic and meiotic cells. Another focus is the  high rate of mutations arising during otherwise accurate DNA repair.  These studies have extended to understanding the mechanism of gene editing by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated single-strand template repair. Recently his lab has become interested in the homologous recombination mechanisms by which the Lyme disease bacterium can "change its coat" to avoid immune surveillance.  In addition, his lab continues to study the DNA damage response wherein even a single double-strand break can trigger cell cycle arrest.

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