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Brandt Eichman, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor – William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair, Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Biochemistry

DNA damage arising from exposure to environmental toxins and cellular metabolites thwarts DNA replication and leads to genome instability, cell death, and diseases including cancer. Our laboratory uses the tools of structural biology and biochemistry to investigate molecular mechanisms of proteins involved in repairing DNA damage and ensuring faithful DNA replication. We primarily use X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM to determine 3D structures of protein-DNA complexes to understand how these proteins recognize and manipulate DNA structure to carry out their particular functions.

Current work focuses on base excision repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks, repair of stalled replication forks by structure-specific DNA translocases, the role of DNA repair in microbial resistance to genotoxic secondary metabolites, and enzymatic repair of DNA abasic sites.

The long-term goals are to understand the fundamental processes underlying genome maintenance and to develop new therapeutic strategies that target genetic diseases.