What interests us!



Meiosis is a specialized form of cell division that produces haploid gametes from precursor somatic cells. A defining feature of meiosis is the occurrence of at least one recombination per crossover event per homologous chromosome pair. Crossovers provide physical linkages between homologs that ensure their accurate segregation. In humans, reduced levels or inappropriate positioning of meiotic crossover events causes mis-segregation of homolog pairs that result in aneuploid gametes and birth defects in offspring (e.g Down syndrome). The bakers yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an ideal model organism to understand mechanisms of meiotic chromosome segregation. In S. cerevisiae and in mammals, the majority of meiotic crossovers are formed through a highly conserved MSH4p-MSH5p, MLH1p-MLH3p dependent pathway. We are interested in charactering the role of these complexes in crossover formation and distribution among all homolog pairs. Errors in this process are linked to congenital birth defects in humans such as Down's syndrome.Our laboratory is also interested in understanding the effect of genetic background on mutation rate variation using S. cerevisiae as a model. These studies are relevant for understanding cancer progression, genome evolution and architecture. We use high- throughput genomic methods as well as classical genetics to achieve these aims.