• BA, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1994
  • PhD, Biology, M.I.T, 2001
  • SPIRE postdoctoral fellowship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002-2005


Molecular Biology: Drosophila genetics and DNA repair

Research Interests

Graduate Research Areas: Genetics and Molecular Biology and Developmental Biology

The McVey laboratory studies molecular mechanisms of DNA repair and recombination using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Specifically, we are investigating how cells repair DNA double-strand breaks, with an emphasis on error-prone repair mechanisms such as alternative end joining. We recently proposed a novel model for alternative end joining that can explain many different types of end-joining repair junctions. Current efforts in the lab are focused on testing this model and determining the genetic requirements for alternative end joining.

Other questions that we are addressing include:

  • How do translesion DNA polymerases contribute to homologous recombination repair?
  • How do RecQ DNA helicases promote genome stability?
  • How do mutations in highly conserved repair genes affect chromosome integrity?
  • What mechanisms of mutagenesis are most relevant to tumorigenesis and aging?

We study these questions in Drosophila, which has been used to identify and characterize many highly conserved metazoan developmental processes. The wealth of tools available in the fly system allows us to make rapid progress towards elucidating conserved mechanisms that have an impact upon DNA stability and genome evolution.

Further details and additional research interests can be found on the lab website.

Teaching/Courses Taught

Bio 13: Cells and Organisms
Bio 105: Molecular Biology
Bio 243: Graduate Seminar in Molecular and Cellular Biology
Bio 260: Teaching Biology: Pedagogy and Practice