September 14th 2015 – Grant McGregor, University of Sussex

Grant McGregorI’m a PhD student in the Murray Lab in the Genome Damage and Stability Centre at the University of Sussex. Our lab studies the accurate inheritance of genetic material (DNA) as this is key to the survival of all organisms. DNA has to be copied (replicated) before cells can divide but obstacles such as damaged DNA bases can lead to replication stalling and breaking down. Cells have developed a range of mechanisms to remove such obstacles. If the DNA damage cannot be removed it can be bypassed either during or immediately after replication by a range of mechanisms. In our lab we use fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe  and human cells to study DNA damage responses.
My projects focus in particular on the SMC5/6 complex and its role in human cells. We are exploring the cellular response to knockdown of a sub-unit of SMC5/6 complex in a synthetic sick/lethal screen and also the phenotypic response of cells to a mutation in SMC5/6. I am interested in translational research in general and hope to stay in this field either through post-doctoral research or through moving into industry. My undergraduate degree and masters degree both came from the University of Dundee and projects in the Drug Discovery Unit.
Outside of the lab, I enjoy long-distance running and football. You can find me most of the time with my nose in a good book.

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