Research Group "Structure and Dynamics of Chromosomes"
In all organisms, chromosome must be compacted nearly three orders of magnitude to fit within the confines of cells, while simultaneously allowing a myriad of DNA-based processes, including replication, transcription, repair, recombination, and integration. Yet, the basic principles of the formation and regulation of the 3D structures of genome have remained unclear. Our group aims to unravel the molecular mechanisms governing 3D genome organization: how chromatins are folded and twisted, and how these topologies affect genome functions. To this end, we will employ single-molecule fluorescence imaging, single-molecule force spectroscopy, and correlative light and electron microscopy techniques to probe and interrogate individual molecules in vitro. By studying individual biochemical processes that constitute genome packaging at high spatiotemporal resolution, we hope to extract the universal principles that underlie chromosome organization across all forms of life.