Michael Cooney

Graduate Student

Michael CooneyResearch Interest: My research focuses on the connection between aging and genome stability.  Cells acquire a variety of genetic lesions during the aging process, concurrent with decreased expression of several proteins involved in the DNA damage response. Double-strand breaks (DSBs) are particularly harmful DNA lesions that are intimately connected to aging. Previous research from our lab has demonstrated that DSBs lead to pro-aging alterations in gene expression profiles by changing the binding patterns of chromatin-associated proteins, such as SIRT1. To further uncover the connection between genome stability and aging, I am investigating how the pathways involved in the detection and repair of DSBs change during aging, and how these changes impact cell function. In a second project, I am working on the identification and characterization of small, bioactive proteins encoded in the human genome.  This research currently focuses on small proteins involved in the regulation of cell metabolism.

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