I am currently an A.P. Giannini Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Heyer’s lab at the University of California, Davis. I am studying Heteroduplex Rejection, one of the key pathways that prevents homologous-recombination mediated rearrangements between repeats. Heteroduplex rejection involves the mismatch repair proteins MSH2, MSH3, and MSH6, which are frequently mutated in certain cancers. Using a combination of genetic, genomic, and biochemical approaches, I aim to uncover the mechanism of heteroduplex rejection and its significance to human cancer. I describe my research for a general audience here. I was previously supported by the Oncogenic Signals and Chromosome Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. In addition to my work on heteroduplex rejection, I am interested in fundamental questions regarding how homologous recombination is regulated, particularly D-loop formation and extension.
I received my Ph.D. in Genetics, Genomics, and Systems Biology (GGSB) from the University of Chicago, where I worked with Dr. Douglas Bishop. My research focused on understanding the factors that regulate the meiotic recombinase Dmc1. Through my doctoral work, I came to appreciate the multitude of regulatory mechanisms that ensure that homologous recombination leads to high-fidelity repair of DNA double-stranded breaks and other sources of DNA damage. This led me to pursue my current position studying the factors that prevent illegitimate recombination between repetitive elements.
* Banner represents EM imaging of a filament formed by RecA homolog Dmc1 on ssDNA