School of Life Sciences

Murray Lab


The accurate inheritance of genetic material (DNA) is key to the survival of all organisms. DNA has to be copied (replicated) before cells divide but obstacles such as damaged DNA bases can lead to replication stalling and breaking down. Cells have developed a range of mechanisms to remove such obstacles. If the DNA damage cannot be removed it can be bypassed either during or immediately after replication by a range of mechanisms. Broken forks can be repaired using recombination with the undamaged DNA strand to restart replication. These processes are important for survival but can be at the expense of an increased error rate leading to mutations and an increase in genome rearrangements. Since such changes can lead to cancer it is vital that replication is coordinated with repair and restarts correctly after stalling. We are interested in how this is regulated.

We use fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe to study S phase-related DNA damage responses. Yeast cells replicate and repair their DNA in a similar way to human cells and, because yeast is easy and cheap to manipulate, we can use yeast to study how cells coordinate replication and repair. We combine cell biology and genetics to investigate how cells regulate the response to replication fork stalling and how replication and recombination are coordinated.


 Our research work is funded by: 








PhD project starting Sept 2014

Replication stress, recombination and chromosome segregation

A studentship is available to study the underlying mechanisms of anaphase bridge formation, a significant contributor to the genomic instability that causes cancer.

Please contact Jo Murray ( for more information.



Dr Johanne Murray


University of Sussex
John Maynard Smith Building
Brighton, BN1 9QG

T +44 1273 877191