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    Last Name

    Richard E Baker PhD

    TitleAssociate Professor
    InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
    DepartmentMicrobiology and Physiological Systems
    AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
    55 Lake Avenue North
    Worcester MA 01655
      Other Positions
      InstitutionUMMS - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
      DepartmentMolecular Genetics and Microbiology


        Academic Background

        Ph. D. (1980) Pennsylvania State University

        Molecular Mechanisms of Chromosome Segregation

        Photo: Richard 
E. BakerThe centromere is the region on the chromosome at which spindle microtubules attach during mitosis and meiosis. Proper function of the centromere and its associated organelle, the kinetochore, is absolutely essential for the transmission of the cell's genetic material. Research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding the molecular details of centromere structure and function. As a model eukaryote, we study the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have identified proteins which specifically bind to yeast centromeric DNA and are currently analyzing their possible roles as components of the kinetochore. Using "reverse genetics", we hope to isolate the genes encoding these proteins and begin a genetic analysis of the centromere/kinetochore complex. While our experiments are strongly biochemically oriented, we rely heavily on the use of recombinant DNA techniques as well as classical yeast genetics.

        selected publications
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        1. Boeckmann L, Takahashi Y, Au WC, Mishra PK, Choy JS, Dawson AR, Szeto MY, Waybright TJ, Heger C, McAndrew C, Goldsmith PK, Veenstra TD, Baker RE, Basrai MA. Phosphorylation of centromeric histone H3 variant regulates chromosome segregation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Biol Cell. 2013 Jun; 24(12):2034-44.
          View in: PubMed
        2. Au WC, Dawson AR, Rawson DW, Taylor SB, Baker RE, Basrai MA. A novel role of the N terminus of budding yeast histone h3 variant cse4 in ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Genetics. 2013 Jun; 194(2):513-8.
          View in: PubMed
        3. Mishra PK, Au WC, Choy JS, Kuich PH, Baker RE, Foltz DR, Basrai MA. Misregulation of Scm3p/HJURP Causes Chromosome Instability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Human Cells. PLoS Genet. 2011 Sep; 7(9):e1002303.
          View in: PubMed
        4. Staszewski O, Baker RE, Ucher AJ, Martier R, Stavnezer J, Guikema JE. Activation-induced cytidine deaminase induces reproducible DNA breaks at many non-Ig Loci in activated B cells. Mol Cell. 2011 Jan 21; 41(2):232-42.
          View in: PubMed
        5. Baker RE. CENP-A targeting moves a step back. Mol Cell. 2009 Feb 27; 33(4):411-3.
          View in: PubMed
        6. Stoler S, Rogers K, Weitze S, Morey L, Fitzgerald-Hayes M, Baker RE. Scm3, an essential Saccharomyces cerevisiae centromere protein required for G2/M progression and Cse4 localization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 19; 104(25):10571-6.
          View in: PubMed
        7. Baker RE, Rogers K. Phylogenetic analysis of fungal centromere H3 proteins. Genetics. 2006 Nov; 174(3):1481-92.
          View in: PubMed
        8. Baker RE, Rogers K. Genetic and genomic analysis of the AT-rich centromere DNA element II of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics. 2005 Dec; 171(4):1463-75.
          View in: PubMed
        9. Morey L, Barnes K, Chen Y, Fitzgerald-Hayes M, Baker RE. The histone fold domain of Cse4 is sufficient for CEN targeting and propagation of active centromeres in budding yeast. Eukaryot Cell. 2004 Dec; 3(6):1533-43.
          View in: PubMed
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