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As the fundamental blueprint of life, maintaining the integrity of DNA is critical to all cells. CMM researchers are studying how genomes are regulated and maintained in both normal and disease states. Huilin Zhou and Richard Kolodner pay particular attention to the diverse DNA repair pathways that maintain the genome in the face of environmental insults and errors in DNA replication. Defects in these pathways are a hallmark of human cancers, which accumulate both point mutations and major chromosome-scale genome rearrangements. Kevin Corbett is studying the mechanisms underlying genome integrity in meiosis, in which programmed DNA breaks are necessary for proper homolog association and segregation to generate gametes.
Image: Mass spectrometry of phosphorylated (black) and unphosphorylated (red) peptides in the DNA damage response. Image by Jason Liang and Huilin Zhou.