Charles E. Bell

Mentor Faculty
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Chemistry & Pharmacology


Research Description:

Research in the Bell Lab uses x-ray crystallography, cryoelectron microscropy, and other biochemical and biophysical tools to understand the mechanisms of proteins involved in DNA repair and other important biological processes. One area of interest is the phage-based RecET and Red recombination systems, which consist of a ring-shaped exonuclease (RecE or Red-alpha) that binds to dsDNA ends and processively digests the 5'-strand, and a single strand annealing protein (RecT or Red-beta), that loads onto the resulting 3'-overhang to promote the annealing of complementary strands. The proteins of these recombination systems are currently being exploited in exciting new methods for genetic engineering, and our research is aimed at providing a structural framework for understanding and re-engineering their functional propterties. The structural work is complemented by a thorough structure-function analysis, which involves biochemical and biophysical assays utilizing fluorescence and gel-based methods, as well is in vivo DNA recombination assays for readout of biological activity.

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, 1996

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