My lab uses fission yeast as a model system for studying DNA damage responses and the coordination of replication with repair. In particular we are interested in the pathways requiring Rqh1 and the Smc5/Smc6 complex. Rqh1 is a member of the RecQ family, which includes genes mutated in the human Bloom's and Werner's syndromes. These are rare genetic disorders characterized by genome instability, cancer susceptibility and in the case of Werner's syndrome premature aging, showing these processes to be important for the prevention of cancer.

SMC complexes are essential complexes involved in chromosome structure and segregation. The Smc5/6 complex is required for double strand break repair and we have recently shown that it is also required for repair at collapsed replication forks. Our current work focuses on the roles of Rqh1 and Smc5/6 in DNA repair, recombination and replication and the implications of these roles for genome stability.

For more information, see  the Genome Damage and Stability Centre.