Institute of Cancer Research, United Kingdom
Each dividing cell in our body must produce two accurate copies of its genome. Certain regions of the genome are more difficult to copy than others, with repetitive sequences being especially challenging. Genetic alterations within repetitions often occur in cancer and give rise to heritable disorders such as fragile X syndrome. It is therefore important to understand how repeats are copied accurately in normal cells and how this goes wrong in disease.
I want to understand how replication deals with repetitive sequences. I will recreate the entire process of DNA replication in a test tube. I will identify the factors that are required to prevent replication errors and reveal how they work.
My results will provide insight into the process of DNA replication and may improve our understanding, diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as fragile X syndrome and cancer.