The flow of genetic information is critically dependent on the structure and integrity of DNA. DNA is challenged by reactive chemicals from endogenous and environmental sources, which produces a plethora of DNA modifications. Certain types of DNA modification play a role in genetic regulation, whereas others can be harmful to organismal health. The overarching goal of our research is to understand the chemical and molecular mechanisms by which DNA-binding proteins/enzymes interact with chemically modified DNA and maintain genomic stability. New knowledge from our research is not only fundamental for understanding genomic maintenance, but also informative for developing novel strategies for disease intervention. We combine biochemical, biophysical, computational, and cellular approaches to decipher the basis of DNA damage, replication, and repair in the context of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes.


our Research

Recent NEWS

We congratulate our group members for their recent career moves:

Riley Boyd: MD program at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University

Oliver Yockey: NIH Postdac Training Program

Ashley Keating: MD Program at MSU Medical School

Christian Bonzheim: MD Program at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

Nicholas Morse: DMD Program at the School of Dentistry of University of Detroit Mercy

Adam Ouellette: MD Program at the Hofstra University School of Medicine

Sep 2018, Congratulations to the team on the new MIRA (R35) grant focused on mitochondrial DNA degradation!

Jun 2018, Riley, Wenyan, and Dr. Zhao presented at the UMDF annual conference. Congratulations to Wenyan on winning the poster presentation award!

May 2017, Oliver Yockey won the 2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award from Dept of Chem & Biochem of CMU. Congratulations!

Mar 2017, Dr. Zhao received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity of CMU.


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