Peter Baumann, Ph.D.


Our main research goal is to understand how defects in telomere maintenance contribute to cancerogenesis, aging, and various diseases. A better understanding of the dynamic interactions that occur at the telomere will ultimately enable us to identify compounds that modulate telomere length, either to limit the life span of tumor cells or to boost the proliferative potential of desired cell populations. Towards this aim, we employ a variety of techniques in biochemistry, molecular genetics, and cell biology to dissect and elucidate the functions of the protein-nucleic acid complexes at human telomeres. As chromosome end protection and telomere maintenance are common challenges for all organisms with linear chromosomes, several projects in our laboratory rely on the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as a model organism. Here we focus on telomerase biogenesis, the regulation of telomere length and the mechanism by which chromosome ends fuse when telomeres fail.

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