Takamune Saito holds a Ph.D. degree. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the laboratory of Dr. Monica Colaiácovo, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School. His research interest is to elucidate the mechanisms that promote genomic integrity in the germline at the molecular level. Specifically, he is studying the regulation of meiotic recombination. This is a matter of much significance given that errors in meiotic recombination lead to infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects in humans. During the last decade, he has studied meiosis using both fission yeast and nematodes. As a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Hiroshi Nojima at Osaka University, he identified and studied the proteins required for microtubule-dependent nuclear movement in fission yeast. Moreover, he analyzed the nuclear movement by using time-lapse microscopy. After graduating, he moved to Harvard Medical School to learn C. elegans genetics and high-resolution 3D imaging of meiotic chromosomes. Under the mentorship of Dr. Monica Colaiácovo, he identified HIM-18/CeSLX4, the key scaffolding protein that potentially makes a multinuclease complex to repair several kinds of DNA damage (Saito et al., 2009, PLoS Genetics). In addition, he has also proceeded to identify the meiotic roles of additional members of this complex (Saito et al., submitted), and in a collaboration with Dr. Steve Elledge, of FAN1, the Fanconi anemia-associated nuclease (Smogorzewska et al., 2010, Molecular Cell). Finally, he has also contributed to the development of the first model of how the synaptonemal complex, a scaffold that holds homologous chromosomes together thereby promoting interhomolog recombination, is organized in the C. elegans germline (Schild-Prufert et al., 2011, Genetics).
Biography Updated on 28 May 2012