The National Centre for Biological Sciences is delighted to welcome Anjana Badrinarayanan who joins the Centre as its newest faculty member.
Anjana is interested in understanding how cells maintain chromosome integrity, which is essential for survival. During her PhD with David Sherratt at the University of Oxford, she studied the role of the highly conserved Structural Maintenance of Chromosome (SMC) complex in organization and segregation of the bacterial chromosome. Her studies revealed the composition and dynamics of the SMC complex during chromosome organization and condensation and provided evidence for a novel loading mechanism of the complex on DNA. To further study the dynamics of chromosomes under the onslaught of DNA damage, she joined the laboratory of Michael Laub at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an HFSP Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellow. Here, she initiated a research project to visualize the process of DNA double-strand break repair inside living cells. Double-strand breaks are a potent form of DNA damage; if unrepaired or incorrectly repaired, they can lead to mutations or cell death. She investigated repair for the first time in the bacterium, Caulobacter, using a combination of quantitative time-lapse microscopy and deep-sequencing techniques to observe chromosome organization and segregation during the repair process as well as understand how break repair is regulated to ensure that chromosome structure is not globally affected.
In her own laboratory at NCBS, Anjana Badrinarayanan will continue to investigate the mechanisms of double-strand break repair in bacteria and how these pathways are regulated in vivo.