Noelle Romero

Noelle Romero
Undergraduate Institution: Ursinus College
Department: Genetics & Molecular Biology
PI: Jeff Sekelsky & Steve Matson
Research Summary: The DNA damage response in eukaryotes involves multiple, complex, and often redundant pathways. One mechanism in which genomic stability and cell viability is maintained is through homologous recombination (HR). This mechanism is essential in repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and interstrand crosslinks (ICLs), and is involved in recovering stalled or broken replication forks. One protein of interest involved in DNA repair is FANCM. FANCM is the Fanconi Anemia protein responsible for recruiting multiple FA proteins to ICLs and is highly conserved in vertebrates. Orthologous proteins of FANCM are found in some invertebrates, such as Drosophila melanogaster DmFANCM, which shows high sequence similarity to human FANCM and to the archaeal Hef DNA repair protein. Currently, I am purifying DmFANCM to determine the biological role for DmFANCM through the use of various biochemical and genetic techniques, examining protein-protein interactions facilitated by FANCM, the repair process in which these interactions operate, evolutionary divergence of FANCM, and its role in homologous recombination. (