Professor Kim Nasmyth, Whiteley Professor of Biochemistry, has been awarded the prestigious Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award under the Molecular Basis of Cell Function remit, entitled ‘How are chromosomes held together by cohesin’.
This work is aiming to use genetics, molecular biology, structural biology and state of the art imaging to elucidate the mechanism by which cohesin associates with and dissociates from chromosomes.
Cohesin has fundamental roles in diverse aspects of eukaryotic chromosome biology, including sister chromatid cohesion, DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcriptional control. Professor Nasmyth’s goal is to establish (or not) the universality of the ring model, to understand how individual DNAs enter and exit cohesin rings, to elucidate how sister DNAs are co-entrapped during replication, to understand how entrapment is dissolved or maintained in post-replicative cells, and to apply insights from cohesin to understanding the mechanism by which condensin holds together the DNAs of individual chromatids.
The Wellcome Trust grant, which is worth £3million and which will fund five post-doctoral posts, a technician and a research assistant, will support Professor Nasmyth’s laboratory over the next seven years, until he retires from research in 2022.