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Niels Mailand

Niels Mailand

professor, gruppeleder

Work in my laboratory aims to understand how signaling processes, in particular those mediated by ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like modifier proteins, orchestrate and regulate cellular responses to DNA damage and replication stress to safeguard genome stability in human cells. The correct functioning of these processes is of fundamental importance for avoiding a multitude of severe pathologies including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders that can arise as a consequence of genetic changes. While it is clear that protective cellular responses to genotoxic insults are driven by coordinated post-translational modifications of the numerous proteins involved, a comprehensive understanding of the scope, dynamics and functions of these crucial yet highly complex processes is lacking.
We are addressing this challenge by combining targeted cell biology-, biochemistry- and microscopy-driven approaches with cutting-edge systems-wide screening strategies to illuminate the signaling responses promoting genome stability maintenance on both a global and mechanistic level.
Our work has led to the identification of an extensive range of new proteins involved in genome stability maintenance, and elucidated in mechanistic detail how signaling via ubiquitin and related modifier proteins underpins the DNA damage response.

Current studies in my lab focus on applying innovative approaches for illuminating cellular roles and mechanisms of understudied genome surveillance factors, ubiquitin chain types and DNA repair pathways, and exploring new and unexpected crosstalk between the DNA damage response and other cellular machineries.

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