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“Embrace technology, embrace teamwork, embrace change. Don’t think too small, especially when you’re starting out.”

27 Jan 2017

Anja Bielinsky is January’s featured Faculty Member of the Month. She has been a Member of the Cell Biology Faculty since March 2012. Faculty Members (FMs) are acknowledged experts invited to recommend the articles that are included in F1000Prime. They review the articles, write brief comments, and score the articles.

Anja received her PhD in Immunology from the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany and moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1995 to study DNA replication and cell cycle control in with Susan Gerbi’s lab at Brown University. She has been a Principal Investigator at the University of Minnesota since 2001 and is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry. She also serves as a co-director of the Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer program.


Can you tell us a little bit about your work?

My laboratory is studying mechanisms that counteract replication stress in yeast and human cells. Replication stress leads to incomplete chromosome duplication and is a major source of genome instability. It is also a driving force in cancer evolution. We are particularly interested in the cellular networks that facilitate cell survival when DNA is under-replicated. My lab  is probably best known for its work on minichromosome maintenance protein 10 (Mcm10), a DNA scaffold protein required for the integrity of replication forks.


What do you like about working on F1000Prime?

It’s hard to keep up with the literature. I really appreciate reading the brief digests by my colleagues and references to papers that I may have missed. It’s become an essential part of my literature review, and I’m happy to contribute.


What was your last recommendation and why did you pick it? (How does it fit into the current research landscape?)

I picked a recent paper from the Diffley laboratory that describes an in vitro assay in which chromatin templates are replicated with purified proteins. The paper is the first to cleanly dissect the roles of nucleosome chaperones and chromatin remodelers during the disassembly and reassembly of nucleosomes. For the past 20 years, the field has pushed to put a system in place in which individual components of the replication apparatus and other associated factors could be examined under conditions mimicking cellular replication. This is a remarkable milestone.


What would you say is the best piece of career advice that you received that you would like to pass on to early career researchers?

Embrace technology, embrace teamwork, embrace change. Don’t think too small, especially when you’re starting out.



Click here to view the full article which appeared in F1000 Research