Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Bell, Stephen P.
Location Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Primary Field Biochemistry
Secondary Field Cellular and Developmental Biology
 Election Citation
Bell discovered the DNA replication initiator complex (ORC) showing how this complex together with Cdc6 uses ATP to create a pre-replication complex at origins of DNA replication. His biochemical and genomic studies are central in understanding the steps that lead from the G1 to S phase of the cell cycle.
 Research Interests
Stephen P. Bell's laboratory is interested studying the assembly of the multi-enzyme replisomes that replicate animal chromosomes and how these events are regulated during the cell cycle to ensure maintenance of the genome. Bell discovered the Origin Recognition Complex (ORC), the protein complex that identifies eukaryotic origins of replication and his lab has characterized the functions of this complex and used its genomic binding sites to identify origins of replication in multiple organisms. His lab pioneered methods to monitor association of replication proteins with the DNA in cells to identify components of the replication fork and the proteins involved in loading a key protein required for DNA replication, the replicative DNA helicase, at origins of replication. Their studies have contributed to understanding the mechanisms that ensure the genome is replicated only once per round of cell division. Most recently, they have used single-molecule biochemical studies in collaboration with Jeff Gelles' lab at Brandeis to understand the protein dynamics during replicative helicase loading and provide insights into the mechanisms that establish bidirectional replication initiation.

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