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

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Symington, Lorraine S.
Location Columbia University
Primary Field Genetics
 Research Interests
Lorraine Symington's research is focused on understanding the mechanism of homologous recombination, which is critical for error-free repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and tolerance of replication stress. Her laboratory has developed innovative genetic assays to identify the genes controlling recombination in budding yeast, and employed physical monitoring methods coupled with genetic analysis to define the steps catalyzed by each corresponding protein. Symington is particularly well known for her work elucidating how the ends of DSBs are processed, a critical step to initiate homology-directed repair. Her work led to the commonly accepted model that end processing occurs by a two-step mechanism, the first catalyzed by the evolutionarily conserved Mre11 complex, and the second involving two functionally redundant nucleases, Exo1 and Sgs1-Dna2. She is also known for her studies demonstrating that homologous recombination proceeds via a metastable strand invasion intermediate involving cycles of strand invasion and dissociation. In addition, her research has yielded novel insights into the mechanism of break-induced replication, the role of the single-stranded DNA binding protein RPA in preventing genome rearrangements, and the identification of nucleases involved in resolution of recombination intermediates.

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