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

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Villeneuve, Anne M.
Location Stanford University
Primary Field Genetics
 Election Citation
Villeneuve greatly enhanced our understanding of meiosis by elucidating key features of homologous chromosome pairing, recombination between maternal and paternal chromosomes, and the essential meiosis-specific synaptonemal protein complex. Her work established C. elegans as a model for dissecting meiosis and provides critical contributions by masterful genetics and cell biology.
 Research Interests
Anne Villeneuve's laboratory investigates the molecular and cellular events underlying the faithful inheritance of chromosomes during meiosis, the specialized cell division program by which diploid organisms generate haploid gametes. These events are crucial for reproduction, since failure to execute them correctly leads to aneuploidy, one of the leading causes of miscarriages and birth defects in humans. One major goal is to understand the mechanisms and regulation of genetic recombination, which is responsible both for reassortment of genetic traits and for promoting segregation of homologous chromosomes during meiosis. An inter-related goal is to understand how meiosis-specific chromosome organization is established, maintained, and remodeled to bring about successful genome inheritance. Dr. Villeneuve approaches these issues using the nematode C. elegans, a simple organism that is especially amenable to combining sophisticated microscopic, genetic and genomic approaches in a single experimental system. Dr. Villeneuve's research interrogates the process of meiosis at multiple different scales: 1) at the level of the DNA repair complexes that assemble at the sites of meiotic recombination; 2) at the level of the meiosis-specific chromosome structures that promote, regulate and respond to meiotic recombination events and 3) at the level of DNA organization at the whole-chromosome scale.

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