Roberto Galletto, PhD

Associate Professor Biochem & Molecular Biophysics

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

Our research focuses on understanding the role that DNA helicases have in promoting progression of DNA replication through sites that are difficult to replicate. This is of particular importance for our understanding of maintenance of genomic stability, especially in cells that are under replication stress. During each cell cycle, DNA replication needs to overcome multiple obstacles, from DNA-bound proteins to DNA secondary structures to damaged DNA. The goal of our current research projects is to define how the Pif1-family of helicases, conserved from yeast to metazoans, allows DNA replication to proceed timely and efficiently at blocks formed by stable G-quadruplexes and tightly DNA-bound proteins. Specifically, our studies focus on human Pif1 as a potential target in cancer cells.