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

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Rothstein, Rodney
Location Columbia University
Primary Field Genetics
Secondary Field Biochemistry
 Election Citation
Rothstein pioneered the use of recombination to alter genomes and used these methods to identify novel genes involved in the maintenance of genome stability. His in vivo imaging analysis of the DNA damage response has detailed precise cellular responses to both spontaneous and induced DNA damage in living cells.
 Research Interests
Rodney Rothstein's laboratory uses yeast as a model organism to study genome stability, DNA repair and recombination. He pioneered the use of recombination to alter genomes and used these methods to isolate novel genes involved in the maintenance of genome stability. His "one-step" gene disruption method led directly to the "knockout" technology used in many organisms to exploit recombination to either remove or insert DNA sequences into specific genomic positions. His laboratory discovered many conserved genes affecting the control of genome stability, including Top3, a novel type I topoisomerase and Sgs1, a DNA helicase, mutation of its human homologues (Blm, Wrn and Rts) cause cancer predisposition and/or premature aging. By combining genetics and cell biology, his lab studies the choreography of the DNA damage response in living cells. They showed that recombination foci assemble at chromosome breaks and act as repair centers capable of repairing more than one DSB. They also found that chromosomal loci increase their mobility in response to DNA damage. They developed tools to screen for the ensuing genetic interactions caused by gene overexpression. They are using this approach to gain insight into the pathways that are disrupted by the common amplicons found in cancer cells.

 
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