Dr. Anton B. Guliaev (Chemistry & Biochemistry, SFSU), Dr. Chris Smith (Biology, SFSU)
Recent developments in computational chemistry have provided new ways of obtaining structural data and biophysical properties of important biological molecules. The overall research in my lab focuses on conformational studies of the macromolecules structures, including molecular dynamics simulations of proteins and protein/DNA complexes of the DNA repair machinery. DNA repair is the key mechanism involved in preserving genome integrity and providing defense against carcinogenic events in cells. The current topics of research include computational studies of carcinogen modified bases and understanding the role of structural features in human DNA repair and recognition. We also study the effects of toxic metals on DNA repair efficiency. These metals are known to cause cancer in both humans and animals, in addition to their other adverse health effects. The structural studies of the metal/protein interactions will provide insights into the mechanisms of metal carcinogenicity at the molecular level.