Personal profile

Research overview

Chromosomal DNA replication in eukaryotic cells requires the complex interplay of a large number of essential and non-essential protein factors in a temporally- and spatially-coordinated manner. Determining how these factors act together to replicate the genome is central to understanding how the integrity of the genome is maintained within, and across, generations and how genetic diseases such as cancer are avoided. The components of the replication machinery are also potential targets for anti-proliferative drugs and can be used as diagnostic markers for the proliferative state.

The complexity of the replication machinery favours the use of simple model systems to dissect problems of protein structure, function and regulation. Indeed, much of what we know about the eukaryotic replication apparatus has come from model system studies. In the MacNeill lab, research is focused on dissecting the molecular biology of eukaryotic chromosomal DNA replication and genome stability using two highly contrasting model systems, the eukaryotic fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and the genetically-tractable halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii. We use a variety of methods to address questions of protein structure and function within the chromosome replication apparatus, including genetics and molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics and bioinformatics.

Academic/Professional Qualification

B.Sc. Honours (1st class) in Molecular Biology, University of Glasgow 1986

D.Phil. in Biochemistry, University of Oxford 1990

Teaching activity

BL2300 Research methods in biology

BL2301 Cell biology

BL2302 Molecular biology

BL3302 Gene regulation

BL4223 Molecular and cell biology of eukaryotic DNA replication

BL4201 Experimental research project

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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