Professor Benkovic’s Group is engaged in a variety of projects connected by the general theme of understanding enzyme catalysis. One project is the study of the eight proteins and enzymes involved in DNA replication by the T4 replisome, to gain a molecular insight as to how these proteins interact within a multi-protein assembly to coordinate leading and lagging strand DNA synthesis. A second project is to lucidate the mechanism underlying translesion bypass involved in human DNA repair. A third project is the study of de novo purine biosynthesis as it occurs within a human cell line, to determine where in the cell and how the nine enzymes in the pathway function as a dynamic complex to regulate the metabolic flux. These projects are described in further detail in the Research Section.
Research on these problems have prepared individuals for careers in academics, the biotech, and pharmaceutical industries. Many former members of the Benkovic Lab have gone on to hold prominent positions in these environments.