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Michael Lichten uses the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism in which meiotic recombination and DNA damage repair can be studied at molecular, chromosomal, and whole-genome levels. His current research focuses on three interrelated topics. The first involves factors that determine where and when meiotic DSBs form; the second involves factors and mechanisms that regulate choice of a partner for DSB repair; the third involves the factors that catalyze and regulate recombination intermediate formation and resolution. Although his primary focus is on the recombination events that occur during meiosis, his work also addresses mechanisms and regulation of recombination and repair events that occur during the mitotic cell cycle.