The molecular structure and function of the human synaptonemal complex in meiosis

Year of award: 2014


  • Dr Owen Davies

    Newcastle University

Project summary

Owen's research aims to uncover the molecular basis of chromosome synapsis and genetic exchange during mammalian meiosis. In the first meiotic division, homologous chromosome pairs are 'zipped' tightly together along their entire length by the synaptonemal complex, a large protein assembly that provides the three-dimensional framework for meiotic recombination and crossing over. Through a biochemical and structural biology approach, Owen aims to solve the molecular structure of the synaptonemal complex and establish how it interacts with and directs the recombination machinery. This work will reveal the molecular details of meiotic chromosome synapsis and crossing over, and ultimately how defects in these processes lead to infertility, miscarriage and aneuploidy.