Mark Sutton PhD

Mark Sutton

Mark Sutton


Department of Biochemistry

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

DNA Replication, Recombination and Repair; Gene Expression; Genome Integrity; Microbiology; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Protein Function and Structure; Signal Transduction

Contact Information
955 Main Street
Room 4217
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: (716) 829-3581
Fax: (716) 829-2725

Professional Summary:

We are interested in developing an integrated mechanistic view of how organisms coordinate the actions of their DNA replication machinery with those of other cellular factors involved in DNA repair and damage tolerance. Failure to properly coordinate these functions leads to mutations, genome instability, and in extreme cases, cell death. We utilize a combination of biochemical, biophysical, and genetic approaches to investigate the molecular mechanisms of DNA replication, DNA repair, and error-prone DNA damage tolerance functions in Escherichia coli. The primary mechanism for damage tolerance involves direct bypass of damaged bases in the DNA. This process is inherently error-prone, and is the basis for most mutations. Current efforts are focused on understanding the mechanisms by which the actions of high fidelity and error-prone lesion bypass DNA polymerases are coordinated with each other, as well as other proteins involved in DNA metabolism. Our goal in this work is to develop methods that enable us to control the fidelity of DNA repair for therapeutic gain.

We are also interested in understanding the mechanisms that contribute to DNA mutagenesis in the opportunistic human pathogen, P. aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa is a particular problem for individuals afflicted with cystic fibrosis. Persistent colonization of cystic fibrosis airways with P. aeruginosa serves as a major source of morbidity and mortality for these patients. The ability of P. aeruginosa to persist in the airways relies in part on its ability to adapt to the continuously changing environment within the diseased airways. We are particularly interested in determining the contribution of mutagenesis and DNA repair to adaptive mutations that contribute to clonal expansion and pathoadaptation of P. aeruginosa during colonization of cystic fibrosis airways.

Education and Training:

  • PhD, Biochemistry, Michigan State University (1996)
  • BS, Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1989)


  • Professor, Biochemistry, University at Buffalo, SUNY (2014-present)
  • Associate Professor, Biochemistry, University at Buffalo, SUNY (2007–2014)
  • Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, University at Buffalo, SUNY (2001–2007)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1997–2001)
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Michigan State University (1996–1997)

Research Expertise:

  • Mechanisms of DNA replication, DNA repair & mutagenesis

Research Centers:

  • Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology

UB 2020 Strategic Strengths:

  • Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • February 2019–November 2022
    Coordination of High Fidelity Replication with Mutagenic Translesion Synthesis
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • February 2020–January 2022
    Purification and Initial Biochemical Analysis of the P. aeruginosa ImuABC Error-Prone DNA Polymerase
    Role: Principal Investigator

Journal Articles:

See all (43 more)

Books and Book Chapters:

  • Sutton MD. Damage Signals Triggering the E. coli SOS Response. 2005.
  • Walker GC, Smith BT, Sutton MD. The SOS response to DNA damage. 2000.

Professional Memberships:

  • ASM (2004–present)

Service Activities:

  • Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences (PPBS); Director (2014–2020)
  • BMC Molecular Biology; Associate Editor (2011–2020)

School News:

In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:

Clinical Offices:

Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

955 Main Street
Room 4217
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: (716) 829-3581
Fax: (716) 829-2725