The main research focus of my lab is the relationship between nuclear structure and nuclear function. Altered nuclear shape is observed in certain types of diseases, such as cancer and during aging. However, the relationship between changes to nuclear morphology and either disease state or aging is unknown. We use budding yeast and C. elegans, two very powerful genetic systems, to identify genes that, when mutated, lead to abnormal nuclear shape.
We currently are looking at a large number of genes that affect nuclear structure, and these fall into many functional categories, some of which are quite surprising, such as RNA processing, ribosome biogenesis, and protein transport. The next step is to understand how these genes affect nuclear shape and to determine whether nuclear processes, such as transcription, DNA replication, and DNA repair, are affected by the alteration to nuclear shape.