Associate Professor, Biology
My research is focused on mechanisms of DNA repair and recombination. Specifically I am studying pathways that are employed by living cells to repair double-strand DNA breaks threatening genomic integrity. In my research I am using yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae proved to be convenient and fruitful model organism to study different eukaryotic processes. Currently I am focusing on one pathway to repair DNA lesions called Break-Induced Replication (BIR). This pathway is useful for the cell as it allows repairing chromosomal breaks, but it is also dangerous because it can lead to genetic changes and chromosomal rearrangements known to cause cancer in humans. It was suggested that some tumor cells use BIR to stabilize their chromosomal ends, which leads to immortalization. Also BIR is responsible for creating chromosomal rearrangements that change regulation of genes involved in cell cycle regulation, which also leads to cancer. Goals of my current project include identification of genes responsible for suppression of BIR and studying of mechanisms leading to gross chromosomal rearrangements similar to those leading to cancer. My other research projects deal with different aspects of meiotic recombination, including meiosis-specific crossover control and competition between different DNA repair pathways in yeast meiosis.