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Distinguished Professor, Organic and Biological Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
The heterocyclic bases of nucleic acids are rich targets for both toxins that damage DNA and drugs that interact with DNA and RNA. The Burrows laboratory investigates several different aspects of nucleic acid chemistry ranging from the mechanistic organic chemistry of oxidative DNA damage to biochemical studies of enzymes that act on DNA lesions. Lessons learned in modified DNA bases are also being applied to the design of new siRNAs for applications to therapeutic RNA interference. Tools used in the lab include: nucleotide, peptide and ligand synthesis; organic reaction mechanisms (labeling, kinetics, isotope studies); ESI-MS and NMR; bioinorganic studies of metal ion complexes; gel electrophoresis, PCR and polymerase assays; protein expression and purification; and RNA interference and gene silencing.