Stephen Kearsey

DNA replication and genome stability


Our work is focused on understanding how genome stability is maintained during DNA replication. Given that each round of DNA replication in a human cell involves copying about 3 billion nucleotides and 1016 cell divisions occur during a lifespan, even minor defects in the process can have deleterious consequences and lead to disease.  The mechanism of DNA replication is highly conserved in eukaryotic evolution and we are using a model organism, fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe), to study this process. Fission yeast has a small genome and it is easy to use genetic techniques to modify the function of replication proteins and to determine how this affects chromosome replication. The key questions that we are addressing are how the regulation and mechanism of DNA replication ensures that genetic information is copied accurately, and whether defects in this process are a significant factor in human disease.

Graduate student positions: enquiries with CV welcome