Current Research Topics

Viral replication

dsRNA
Viruses synthesise copies of their genomes very rapidly, but in doing so also make many errors. Understanding how they do so could allow us to force them to make either more or fewer errors, thereby impeding viral survival.

Prokaryotic replication

ecoli_replication2
In order for the bacterium Escherichia coli (E.coli) to proliferate it has to bi-directionally replicate its circular chromosome successfully. Multiple individual molecular machines known as replisomes are responsible for DNA synthesis. The exact dynamics of the replisome (and other enzymes) is not well understood.

Eukaryotic replication

The DNA double helix is copied (or replicated) prior to every cell cycle. In eukaryotes, a complex and tightly regulated machinery formed by a large number of proteins carries out this replication. Understanding the functioning of this complex machinery forms an exciting challenge.

 

Chromatin

genome organizationThe meters of DNA in eukaryotic organisms are tightly packed into a higher-order structure called chromatin. The basic compaction unit of this condensed structure is a DNA-protein complex termed nucleosome which consists of a small piece of DNA wrapped around a core of so-called histone proteins. Besides packaging DNA, nucleosomes also play an essential role in the regulation of important nuclear processes such as transcription, replication and repair by controlling DNA accessibility.

Funding for this research is made available by:

  • European Research Council (ERC) under FP7
  • The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)
  • The Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM)
  • The Human Frontiers Science Program

Past Research Topics

Single-molecule studies of topoisomerases

DNA repair

Bacterial swimming