Research Interests

My current interest focuses upon mechanisms and genetic control of transcription-coupled DNA repair (TCR), and the search for gratuitous TCR that may cause genomic instability. We study behavior of RNA polymerases encountering lesions, guanine-rich DNA sequences and non-canonical DNA structures to learn the precise signals that initiate TCR to overcome transcription blockage. We also study the hereditary diseases, Cockayne syndrome (CS) and UV-sensitive syndrome; of which both are deficient in TCR and present no cancers, while CS patients, in particular, exhibit features of premature aging and defective processing of oxidative DNA damage. We have developed an ultrasensitive comet-FISH assay for quantifying 8-oxo-guanine and its repair in expressed genes. We are also developing an approach, utilizing the DNA mimic, peptide nucleic acid, targeted to unique expressed genes, to generate stable R-loops in order to render the very act of transcription ?toxic? for selected cells, such as those in a tumor.

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Primary Section

Section 26: Genetics

Secondary Section

Section 29: Biophysics and Computational Biology