The generation of genetic diversity via DNA repair pathways

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Project Status
Medicine and Radiology
St Vincent's Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Wayne Crismani Personal web page

Project Details

Are you different from your brothers and sisters but have the same parents? Why is it that two parents can create children that are genetically unique? The answer is meiosis. We are seeking an enthusiastic young scientist with an interest in genetics and evolutionary questions, to uncover how DNA repair pathways regulate generation of diversity during meiosis.

In our bodies, DNA double strand breaks are incredibly dangerous and must be repaired. Nonetheless, there are natural processes that actively generate DNA double strand breaks during meiosis, to allow genetic recombination, or the reshuffling of genetic material between related chromosomes. This process is tightly regulated by mechanisms that are widely conserved in eukaryotes. We previously showed that mutants of the FANCM gene cause a huge increase in meiotic recombination in plants (eg Crismani et al, Science 2013). A related gene has a similar effect in yeast. We have now generated FANCM-deficient mice to determine if the same process governs genetic diversity in mammals. As FANCM-deficiency can rescue infertility in some strains of plants, this research has potential implications for our understanding and treatment of infertility in humans.

You will our dynamic young team of experts, and use a diverse set of techniques (including mouse genetics and meiosis techniques, next generation DNA sequencing, bioinformatics analysis of recombination frequencies, recombinant DNA technology, immunofluorescence and ex vivo organ culture) to uncover how genetic diversity is regulated, and potentially affected in human disease.

This project is conducted in St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, Genome Stability Unit.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Graduate Research Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other Graduate Research requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

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Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

St Vincent's Hospital

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