Stuart Haring, Ph.D., assistant professor in biochemistry will receive a five-year Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.
Living cells are the focus of Haring’s research, for which he is receiving a five-year award of $992,429 from NSF. It is the largest single CAREER award received at NDSU since 1996. Haring’s research examines how cells recognize and repair damaged DNA, before the DNA is permanently mutated. The research, titled “Replication Protein A Modification – Dependent Function in Mitosis and Meiosis,” also will provide opportunities to NDSU students in molecular and cellular biology. Much of the current research into cellular dysfunction centers on how to fix cells after they have been broken, due to genetic mutation. Haring’s research involves understanding molecular mechanisms of DNA metabolism, which are important in preventing mutations from occurring. This is analogous to performing preventive maintenance, instead of fixing things after they are broken.
“This award will allow us to probe into how Replication Protein A (RPA) modifications affect its cellular function, especially in response to DNA damage,” Haring said. “The research also will provide insight into the molecular mechanisms by which modification of RPA directs its many functions, which is currently undetermined. Ultimately, a better understanding of these basic DNA maintenance mechanisms will potentially allow for the development of methods to prevent cellular defects by preventing mutation.”