Dr. Joseph Reese
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Stress Responses and Gene Regulation
Stress induced gene expression and UV resistance pathways
Cancer results from of an accumulation of genetic and cellular damage and the ensuing uncontrolled cell proliferation. Eukaryotic cells respond to these challenges by activating DNA damage sensing, signaling and repair pathways that are stimulated by damage to DNA and other stresses. Activation of these pathways cause the execution of cell cycle delays, referred to as checkpoints, and the expression of DNA repair genes. Alterations in these functions are known to predispose people to cancer and other diseases. Our laboratory uses a combination of biochemistry, genetics, genomics and molecular biology to study the mechanisms controlling stress-induced changes in gene expression in eukaryotes. The two main focus areas of the lab are the role of transcription and mRNA decay factors in regulating the DNA damage response and the control of transcription elongation by protein complexes and chromatin.