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Lata Balakrishnan, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 672
Rochester, NY 14642

Lab: (585) 275-0999

Research Bio

My research centers on understanding the mechanistic reactions of eukaryotic lagging strand DNA synthesis and the accompanying DNA repair processes. While lagging strand DNA synthesis produces only half the DNA of the genome, the complexity involved in processing the DNA is twice as much as for the leading strand. Discovery of multiple back-up pathways for the nuclear lagging strand replication and the DNA repair system suggests that DNA transactions within the cell are performed with flexibility to ensure the best outcome for maintenance of genome fidelity. Lysine acetylation is emerging as a key regulatory mechanism in modulating the function of post-translationally modified proteins in replication and repair.

My current studies are focussed on understanding how the acetylation of replication/repair-associated proteins determines the choice of a specific replication or repair pathway. Understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in this regulation will significantly add to our understanding of the factors that control the rate of aging in humans, and the average onset times of cancers and neurological diseases.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Pathway to Independence K99/R00 Award | National Institutes of Health 2012 - 2014
Outstanding Post-Doctoral Mentor Award | University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry 2012

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 26 available »

2014 Aug 13
Ngo GH, Balakrishnan L, Dubarry M, Campbell JL, Lydall D. "The 9-1-1 checkpoint clamp stimulates DNA resection by Dna2-Sgs1 and Exo1." Nucleic acids research.. 2014 Aug 13; Epub 2014 Aug 13.
2013 Feb
Balakrishnan L, Bambara RA. "Okazaki fragment metabolism." Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology. 2013 Feb; 5(2)Epub 2013 Feb 01.
Balakrishnan L, Bambara RA. "Flap endonuclease 1." Annual review of biochemistry.. 2013 82:119-38. Epub 2013 Feb 28.
Kallestad L, Woods E, Christensen K, Gefroh A, Balakrishnan L, Milavetz B. "Transcription and replication result in distinct epigenetic marks following repression of early gene expression." Frontiers in genetics. 2013 4:140. Epub 2013 Jul 30.
2012 Aug 30
Kantartzis A, Williams GM, Balakrishnan L, Roberts RL, Surtees JA, Bambara RA. "Msh2-Msh3 interferes with Okazaki fragment processing to promote trinucleotide repeat expansions." Cell reports. 2012 Aug 30; 2(2):216-22. Epub 2012 Aug 02.

Current Appointments

Research Assistant Professor - Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics (SMD) - Primary


PhD | Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | The University of North Dakota2007
MS | Biochemistry | University of Mumbai, India2002
BS | Biochemistry/Chemistry (double major) | University of Mumbai, India2000

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

University of Rochester Medical Center 2012