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Ilya J Finkelstein

Associate Professor
Molecular Biosciences

Biophysical Studies of Molecular Machines


Phone: 512-471-1394

Office Location
MBB 3.422

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

B.S., UC Berkeley (2001)
Ph.D., Stanford University (2007)

Research Interests

Biophysical Studies Of Genome Maintenance

Genomic DNA acts as the blueprint for life and all organisms have evolved complex protein machines that faithfully maintain our genetic material. Genomic instability, which arises from defects in these proteins, is a defining feature of most cancers. Elucidating the mechanisms of DNA maintenance is therefore fundamental to our understanding of the molecular basis of many cancer types.

Our interdisciplinary research program combines aspects of single-molecule biophysics, molecular biology and micro-/nano-scale engineering to understand how organisms are able to maintain their genomic integrity. To increase our understanding of this essential problem, we develop new techniques that allow us to directly observe, in real time, the key biochemical reactions as they occur on DNA.

Representative Publications

J. Y. Lee*, I. J. Finkelstein*, E. Crozat, D. J. Sherratt and E.C. Greene. “Single-molecule imaging of DNA curtains reveals mechanisms of KOPS sequence targeting by the DNA translocase FtsK.” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 109, 6531-6 (2012) * co-first authorship

I. J. Finkelstein and E.C. Greene. “Supported lipid bilayers and DNA curtains for high-throughput single-molecule studies.” Methods Mol. Biol. 745, 447-61 (2011)

I. J. Finkelstein, M. L. Visnapuu and E.C. Greene. “Single-molecule imaging reveals mechanisms of protein disruption by a DNA translocase.” Nature. 468, 983-87 (2010)

I. J. Finkelstein and E.C. Greene. “Single molecule studies of homologous recombination.” Mol. Biosyst. 4, 1094-104 (2008)