The Genome Maintenance and Evolution Lab is broadly interested in evolutionary cell biology: how did cells evolve to become the remarkable unit at the basis of life, capable of performing thousands of complex processes at every cell division?
The group is particularly interested in the evolution of genome maintenance, which depends on a number of functional modules that execute and coordinate the complex processes of DNA replication, DNA repair, chromosome segregation, and cell cycle regulation. While the function and overall logic of these processes are widely conserved, they show a surprising mechanistic variability in how they are executed in different species. The functional significance of these differences and the evolutionary processes that promote them are still largely unknown.
We have recently demonstrated how genome maintenance mechanisms are capable of quick evolutionary re-wiring when perturbed, showing how the evolutionary cell biology of essential processes can be studied experimentally.
In our lab, we take advantage of S.cerevisiae as a model eukaryotic organism and we investigate the molecular mechanisms that allow cells to adapt to challenges in genome maintenance. We use a multidisciplinary approach that takes advantage of techniques and concepts spanning across biological scales: From molecular and cellular biology to genomics, evolutionary biology, and population genetics.