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Our lab is focussed on the molecular biology and evolution of proteins and pathways that manipulate nucleic acids, including helicases, nucleases and recombinases. We have particular interests in the CRISPR-Cas system of antiviral defence and  DNA repair mechanisms . We utilise a combination of structural, molecular and micro-biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics.

The expertise within the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex allows us to utilise a wide variety of techniques including single-molecule TIRF microscopy, spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography in these studies. Structure-function studies of archaeal repair proteins have important implications for the equivalent proteins in humans (see for example Liu et al, 2008, Cell 133, 801-12 and Richard et al., 2008, Nature, 453, 677-82). The CRISPR-Cas system is a fascinating aspect of prokaryotic molecular biology with many fundamental research questions and exciting applications in genome engineering and biotechnology.

We have been funded by the BBSRC, Cancer Research UK, Association for International Cancer Research, Royal Society, EU framework VII and the Wellcome Trust.

A short cv is available MFW 1-page cv 2013.pdf