The role of DNA helicases in promoting progression of DNA replication through sites that are difficult to replicate is of particular importance for our understanding of maintenance of genomic stability. During each cell cycle, DNA replication needs to overcome multiple obstacles, such as proteins tightly bound to DNA, DNA secondary structures, and damaged DNA. The long-term goal of our research is to understand the activity of accessory helicases at such obstacles in general, but particularly at telomeres, which are known to impede replication and whose integrity is fundamental to genome stability.
One additional goal of our research is to understand how telomeres are organized and regulated. Telomeres can form distinct globules or assemble into larger structures. Understanding the underlying mechanisms that impart telomeres with their globular and dynamic character is key to explaining how telomeres shelter the ends of chromosomes.
In our studies we employ a broad range of techniques, ranging from classical biochemistry approaches to quantitative biophysical techniques both in ensemble and at single-molecule level.