Pilot Projects


June 2019

Dirk Remus
Isolation of Eukaryotic Replisome Complexes for Structural Analysis

Each time a cell divides it must produce accurate copies of its chromosomes to preserve the genetic information contained in the chromosomal DNA. This process, called DNA replication, is essential and defects in DNA replication can lead to the mutations and chromosomal rearrangements associated with developmental disorders and diseases, such as cancer. This project will generate novel assays and tools for the isolation and structural analysis of the large, multi-subunit, protein complexes mediating DNA replication in budding yeast cells to illuminate the mechanism of eukaryotic DNA replication.

Derek Tan
Development of Novel Aspartate/Glutamate Cross-linking Reagents for XLMS

Cross-linking mass spectrometry (XLMS) has emerged as a powerful tool to study protein structure in situ and in live tissues. Many proteins contain carboxylic acids on their surfaces, but it is currently difficult to cross-link these acids efficiently. We propose to develop a novel chemical reagent to enable efficient cross-linking of these acidic residues for use in XLMS.

Joao Xavier 
Intestinal Microbiota Damage and its Impact on the Kynurenine Pathway

The kynurenine pathway impacts major diseases such as major depressive disorder, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Experiments in mice show that the gut microbiome modulates the kynurenine pathway, but the mechanism remains elusive. In this application we propose experiments where we damage the microbiota of mice using antibiotics, and use metabolomics to investigate the kynurenine pathway, together with computational analysis to determine how intestinal microbes impact the kynurenine metabolism.