PhD, Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University Medical School, Boston
Licensure in Science, Biology, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Valparaiso-Chile
B.Sc. Biology, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Valparaiso-Chile
Area(s) of Expertise
Molecular Microbiology, DNA Damage Pathways
At the molecular level, networks are given by multiple interactions of nucleic acids and proteins and by protein-protein interactions. The latter results, for the most part, in formation of multiple protein complexes (MPCs).
My research group is interested in studying an MPC formed by components involved in important DNA transactions when cells are exposed to DNA damage. This is a condition that induces the expression of error-prone DNA polymerases, the activity of which might lead to mutations. Our long-term goal is to learn about the mechanisms that regulate the activity of error-prone Y family DNA polymerases. This will provide a detailed understanding of the mutation pathways effected by Y DNA polymerases in bacteria. In turn, this will lead to a good understanding of the involvement of error prone Y family DNA polymerases in the evolution of important functions such as antibiotic resistance. Importantly, our research will contribute to the general understanding of mutagenesis, since Y family polymerases are conserved from bacteria to humans.
Our working model is that protein-protein interactions, and likely MPC formation, modulate the activity of Y family DNA polymerases allowing to sculpt mutagenesis that might permit survival in conditions of stress.
We use bacteria as a model system and especially Escherichia coli. Due to its relative simplicity, studying basic processes in bacteria will render mechanistic insights that would be difficult to attain directly in more complex systems.
414 C Mugar Life Sciences Building