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Research Expertise
The Sinden lab studies alternative conformations of DNA, including cruciforms, left-handed Z-DNA, triplex DNA, unwound structures, and G-quadruplex. In 1995 we reported the first identification of slipped-strand DNA (S-DNA). We work to understand the biological roles and consequences of these alternative DNA conformations. Currently, more than 40 human genetic neurodegenerative diseases are caused by the massive expansion of (CTG)n•(CAG)n, (CGG)n•(CCG)n, (GAA)n•(TTC)n, (CCTG)n•(CAGG)n, or (ATTCT)n•(AGAAT)n DNA repeats. All of these disease-associated repeats form alternative DNA conformations, which may be involved in their genomic instability. We study the deletion of DNA repeats in a model bacterial system and in human cells from affected individuals. We are currently investigating chemicals that may stabilize intramolecular triplex DNA and lead to increased rates of deletion of the Friedreich ataxia (GAA)n•(TTC)n repeats. With such an approach, one may be able to prevent or delay onset of repeat expansion diseases.
Brief Bio
Education 1972: BS Chemistry, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL 1978: MS, PhD Biochemistry, University of Georgia Professional Experience 6/2012-present, Professor and Head, CABS, SDSM&T 8/06-5/12, Professor, Dept Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology 2/01-1/05, Associate Director, Institute of Biosciences and Technology (IBT), Texas A&M University System Health Science Center (TAMHSC), Houston 3/99-8/06, Professor, IBT, Center for Genome Research (CGR), Dept Medical Biochemistry and Genetics (MBG), College of Medicine, TAMHSC 1/92-3/99, Associate Prof, IBT, CGR, & Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, TAMU 9/84-12/91, Assistant then Associate Professor Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.
I have taught a variety of courses including Genetics (and labs), Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and DNA Structure and Function. I generally teach upper level undergraduate and graduate level courses. I also participate in teaching courses for the Biomedical Engineering MS and PhD program, including Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, Molecular Biology for Engineers, and BME Seminar. I challenge students to enjoy learning and to understand material rather than simply regurgitate it.
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