PhD, Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, United States, 2006
BS/MS, Molecular Genetics, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, 1999
I am interested in chromosome biology, genome's structure and function, maintenance of genomic stability and nuclear architecture.
My graduate work focused on transcription-replication collisions in the cells of a bacterium, E. coli. As bacterial cells simultaneously replicate and transcribe their chromosome, occasional collisions between the replication forks and RNA polymerases can occur. Such collisions can affect both replication and transcription, as well as influence the structure of the genome in the course of evolution. I have shown that RNA polymerase inhibits the movement of the replication fork in vivo, if the replication fork approaches it in the head-on direction.
During my postdoctoral training, I was using baker's yeast S. cerevisiae as a model system to study interactions between parts of chromosomes. In the recent years, it has become clear that nuclear architecture plays an important role in gene expression and maintenance of genomic stability, but molecular mechanisms, which shape nuclear architecture, remain largely unknown. I have demonstrated that self-dimerizing ("sticky") proteins can act as tethers to physically bring parts of different chromosomes together.