Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and of Biochemistry
M.D. and Ph.D. in Microbiology (Columbia University)
In the Artandi lab, we are interested in unraveling the molecular and cellular mechanisms according to which telomeres and telomerase modulate stem cell function and carcinogenesis. Telomeres, the nucleotide repeats that cap the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, which serve critical roles in promoting cell viability and in maintaining chromosomal stability. In humans, telomeres shorten progressively with cell division in primary human culture because DNA polymerase cannot fully replicate the extreme ends of chromosomes. Critical telomere shortening and loss of the protective telomere capping function in cell culture initiates senescence and crisis responses that profoundly alter chromosome stability, cell cycle progression and survival.