Dr Nick Robinson

Lecturer

Research Overview

The Robinson laboratory studies fundamental cellular processes that are responsible for the maintenance of chromosomal integrity and protein homeostasis. The misregulation and mutation of these crucial pathways can result in a variety of pathological conditions including cancer, neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. The laboratory utilizes the experimental tractability of thermophilic archaeal species to investigate these essential processes. Although archaeal species are ancient microbes, components of the archaeal DNA repair and replication systems and protein degradation pathways display functional homology to their eukaryotic counterparts. Therefore, eukaryotic-like processes can be studied in these experimentally amenable organisms. Furthermore, the robust and stable archaeal protein homologues isolated from thermophilic species offer unparalleled benefits for the structural and biochemical study of these essential cellular pathways. By taking advantage of these streamlined archaeal systems, while employing a range of biochemical and structural approaches, the main aims of the laboratory are to further our understanding of the evolution and mechanistic action of the DNA replication-associated DNA repair events and also ubiquitin-like modifications and proteasomal degradation pathways.