Research Interests

In our lab we study the mechanisms of meiotic chromosome segregation, focusing on the events that ensue at meiotic prophase I. We are particularly interested in elucidating the mechanisms of SC disassembly.

ResearchResearch

For our studies of meiosis, we use Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system (a). C. elegans is a microscopic worm, which is a well-established model organism amenable for a variety of research approaches including genetic manipulation, cell biology and biochemistry.

We can analyze chromosomes in the live organisms as well as in dissected gonads. Meiotic prophase nuclei are the majority of nuclei composing the germline of this microscopic worm (b). These nuclei are arranged in temporal-spatial pattern; therefore, all early meiotic events (c-e) can be analyzed simultaneously in a single gonad. We use genetic and cell biology techniques involving high-resolution microscopy to study how chromosomes behave in these early meiotic events.

Research

Projects

1. The role of MRE-11 in DNA strand resection of meiotic double strand breaks (DSBs). Our lab identified a separation of function allele of MRE-11, which abrogates the resection activity of this protein without affecting its role in meiotic DSB formation. We use this mutant as a tool for identifying novel meiotic gene involved in DSB repair in C. elegans.

2. Elucidating the mechanism of SC assembly and disassembly through the study of central region proteins of the SC. This study is centered on our recently discovered gene involved in SC disassembly, akir-1, as well as other genes/proteins identified to interact with it.

Research