Failure to maintain genetic integrity can result in the inheritance of mutations, genetic disorders, cancer or cell death. To ensure genome stability, cells have evolved a number of different ways to deal with DNA damage. These include several DNA repair pathways capable of recognising and repairing different types of damage, and checkpoint mechanisms that arrest the cell cycle to prevent cells from entering the next phase of the cycle with DNA damage or unreplicated chromosomes.

For many years we have used the fission yeast, S. pombe, as a model organism for the study of DNA repair, recombination and DNA integrity checkpoints. More recently our focus has shifted to include mammalian cells for the study of the response of cells to DNA damaging agents and other stresses.