Background and activities

Research group: "Aberrant DNA bases and chromatin integrity"


Our research

Numerous lethal and mutagenic DNA lesions are formed upon exposure to endogenous and exogenous damaging agents. The estimated steady-state level of endogenous DNA damage in mammalian cells is high, about 20’000 lesions per cell per day. Aberrant DNA bases represent significant portion of endogenous DNA damage. To maintain the integrity of genetic information organized within chromatin, cells need to efficiently repair the DNA. Accumulation of aberrant DNA bases has been tightly associated with aging, cancer development, as well as the onset of different neurological diseases. Aim of our research is to determine how presence of aberrant DNA bases influences essential cellular processes, like transcription and gene expression, as well as to identify different factors that ensure efficient repair. By using multidisciplinary approaches (including biochemistry, cell biology, genomics, proteomics, 3D culturing, imaging, CRISPR libraries, and computational biology) we focus on identification of pathomechanisms that lead to development of human diseases, in particular neurodevelopmental disorders and cancer, and which could potentially serve as basis for evolution of novel therapies.


Group members

  • Merdane E. Aksu (
  • Kayla M. Grooms (
  • Kristin Rian (
  • Maria Eikenes Skorpen




Onsager Fellow


Outstanding Academic Fellow

Scientific, academic and artistic work

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