Karen Almeida
 
Research in my lab focuses on the repair of damaged DNA, specifically damage encountered during active replication or S-phase.  DNA is a dynamic biopolymer that contains the genetic information for life.  The accurate copying of this information is critical to survival yet the DNA is constantly damaged from the byproducts of metabolism within a cell as well as from exposure to toxins in the environment.  The state of persistent DNA damage leads to undesired genetic changes, perhaps even cancer.  Therefore, cells have devised numerous pathways for the repair of DNA damage. Research in my lab explores the interaction between two known DNA damage repair proteins, Bloom syndrome protein (Blm) and Rad51.
Undergraduate research in my lab is critical for success.  Individual projects include:
*The subcloning of cDNA for the full-length Blm protein as well as specific deletion mutants that will assist in determining the exact residues that contact Rad51 
*The over expression and purification of Blm proteins to be used for in vitro biochemical assays
*Determining Protein-Protein binding interactions again to be used to assess the affect of deletion mutants
This work is supported by the RI-INBRE grant for the NIH.
Biochemistry
and Toxicology