Congratulations to Kerry Bloom, whose lab received a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award of $900,000. This grant will be active from Sept. 2019-Aug. 2023 and is titled: “Exploring the Interplay between DNA Replication Kinetics and Macromolecular Protein Assembly at the Centromere”.

Abstract: Centromeres are essential for kinetochore assembly and chromosome segregation during the eukaryotic cell division. Despite extensive studies, little is known regarding the interplay between replisome progression through centromeric regions and the assembly of functional kinetochore at these sites. In this proposal we will combine genetics, cell biology, live-cell microscopy, and computational methods to study the relationship between DNA replication, centromere establishment, kinetochore assembly, and chromosome segregation during mitosis. Specifically, we will apply our recently developed live-cell imaging approach for monitoring replication fork progression through active and inactive centromeric regions, investigate how transcription of centromeric regions affects kinetochore assembly and utilize computer simulations to investigate the importance of DNA configurations to centromere assembly. This integrative approach, applied to a variety of mutant strains and conditions, will enable us to shed new light on different aspects of centromeric DNA replication, genome stability, chromosome segregation and cell division. This research program requires strong collaboration between labs that share the expertise in centromere biology and DNA replication using yeast as a model organism. The proposed collaboration is ideal, as the infrastructure and methodologies required to pursue the suggested proposal are well implemented in the Bloom and Aharoni labs.

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