Environmental Factor, October 2006, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
LMG Will Host Peter Burgers
By Stephanie Nick McElhinny
At 10:00 AM on October 30 in Rodbell Auditorium, Peter M. J. Burgers, Ph.D., will deliver the second talk in the LMG Special Seminars Series, titled "When Good DNA Turns Bad: Clamps Slide to the Rescue." Burgers, a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the Washington University School of Medicine, has contributed more than 90 research studies over the past 30 years.
Burgers' research efforts are focused on the study of nuclear DNA replication and DNA repair in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The current biochemical and genetic efforts of his laboratory focus on the mechanisms which ensure genome fidelity and integrity during DNA replication and the DNA damage response.
Specifically, Burgers' research group aims to understand the functions of the replicative DNA polymerases at the replication fork, the mechanisms by which accessory factors associate with these DNA polymerases to form replication-competent complexes, and how the different replication complexes at the leading strand and at the lagging strand physically interact into a replisome to ensure coordinated DNA replication of the chromosome.
Burgers' group also is interested in determining how the replication machinery responds to DNA damage. Specific research questions include how the replication machinery mediates signals to cell cycle checkpoint factors when it encounters DNA damage, how the replication fork is remodeled in response to DNA damage to either a mutagenic or non-mutagenic fork which can replicate across the damaged site, and how alternative DNA clamps and clamp loaders may be involved in processing damage to generate a signal for the cell cycle response machinery.