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Jennifer                       Surtees

Jennifer A. Surtees PhD

Department of Biochemistry

Associate Professor

Specialty/Research Focus

DNA Replication, Recombination and Repair; Genome Integrity; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Molecular genetics; Protein Function and Structure

 
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Professional Summary:

In my laboratory, we are interested in the general problem of maintaining genome stability. To this end, we focus on two distinct aspects of genome stability: 1) the roles of mismatch (MMR) proteins in multiple pathways for DNA repair and 2) the manner in which regulation of dNTP pools, through the regulation of ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) activity, impacts genome integrity.

1) MMR proteins recognize many different types of DNA lesions and then target the lesion for the appropriate repair pathway. We are interested in the mechanism(s) by which recognition of a lesion is translated into the appropriate DNA repair pathway, using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system. Is it through differential protein-nucleic acid or protein-protein interactions? To address these questions as well as the regulation of DNA repair pathway selection, we use a combination of genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches.

2) RNR activity modulates the level of dNTPs that are available in a cell at a given time. Higher levels of dNTPs lead to higher mutation rates. We are interested in the various ways in which misregulated dNTP pools might affect cellular metabolism and affect the stability of the genome.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of Toronto (2001)
  • MS, Molecular Biology, University of Toronto (1996)
  • BS, Genetics, University of Western Ontario, Honours (1993)
Employment:
  • Associate Professor, University at buffalo (2014-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, University at Buffalo, school of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (2007–2014)

Research Expertise:
  • Mismatch repair and genome stability: In my laboratory, we are interested in the general problem of maintaining genome stability. To this end, we focus on two distinct aspects of genome stability: 1) the roles of mismatch (MMR) proteins in multiple pathways for DNA repair and 2) the manner in which regulation of dNTP pools, through the regulation of ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) activity, impacts genome integrity. 1) MMR proteins recognize many different types of DNA lesions and then target the lesion for the appropriate repair pathway. We are interested in the mechanism(s) by which recognition of a lesion is translated into the appropriate DNA repair pathway, using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system. Is it through differential protein-nucleic acid or protein-protein interactions? To address these questions as well as the regulation of DNA repair pathway selection, we use a combination of genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches. Our long-term goal is to elucidate the mechanisms that bridge damage recognition and DNA repair. 2) RNR activity modulates the level of dNTPs that are available in a cell at a given time. Higher levels of dNTPs lead to higher mutation rates. We are interested in the various ways in which misregulated dNTP pools might affect cellular metabolism and affect the stability of the genome.
UB 2020 Strategic Strengths:
  • Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics
Grants and Sponsored Research:
  • June 2009–May 2015
    Roles for mismatch repair proteins in maintaining genome stability (NIH 1 R01 GM087459-01A1)
    NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,480,000

Journal Articles:
See All (17 Total) >


Clinical Specialties:
Clinical Offices:
Insurance Accepted:

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Contact Information

619 Biomedical Research Building
3435 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14214
Phone: (716) 829-6083
Fax: (716) 829-2725
Email: jsurtees@buffalo.edu


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