The lab of Professor Jim Keck is broadly interested in bacterial genome maintenance, and IPiB student Katarzyna (Kasia) Dubiel focused her Ph.D. research on single-stranded DNA-binding proteins (SSBs), which play a major role in this process. In order for DNA replication and repair to occur, double-stranded DNA must be separated into single strands. Single-stranded DNA is inherently unstable and wrapping single-stranded DNA around SSBs prevents formation of aberrant DNA structures and protects it from being broken down in the cell. In fact, these proteins are required in all organisms. Through her work Kasia investigated exactly how SSBs bind DNA and devised a method for tagging SSB so these proteins can be studied in live cells. This work will help future researchers better study these important proteins and their interactions with DNA in the context of the cell.
To learn more about Kasia’s research, attend her Thesis Defense on Monday, Nov. 4 in Room 1211 of the HFD Biochemical Sciences Building.