Balmus Laboratory

Gabriel Balmus

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Group Leader - UK Dementia Research Institute,University of Cambridge, UK

Postdoc - Steve Jackson Lab - Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK

PhD - Robert Weiss Lab - Cornell University, USA

DVM thesis - Malcolm Ferguson-Smith Lab - University of Cambridge, UK

Research interest

Gabi is interested in the mechanisms controlling the maintenance of nuclear and  mitochondrial genomes in mature neurons towards a better understanding of  neurodegenerative disease and neuronal ageing.

DNA damage due to endogenous genotoxic stress contributes to reduced gene expression in the human brain after age 40 including down-regulation of many genes that play integral roles in synaptic plasticity, calcium-mediated signalling and synaptic vesicle release and recycling.  Accumulation of genomic instability may compromise systems that allow synaptic function and neuronal survival, leading to compensatory stress responses in the aged cortex.

Gabi is interested in understanding the endogenous processes and lesions (oxidative damage, alkylating damage etc.) that contribute to the formation and accumulation of genomic instability, how DNA damage response is wired in the mature neurons to respond to such insults and control the cell cycle arrest, damage repair and the signalling to cell death.

Understanding these processes can yield vital information aimed at discovering therapeutic approaches that can protect the ageing neurons.   

Selected publications

ATM orchestrates the DNA-damage response to counter toxic non-homologous end-joining at broken replication forksfull text 

Balmus G, Pilger D et al. (2018) . bioRxiv, 330043

Targeting NAT10 enhances healthspan in a mouse model of human accelerated aging syndrome. full text

Balmus G, Larrieu D et al. (2018) Nature communications 9 (1), 1700

Synthetic lethality between PAXX and XLF in mammalian development. full text

Balmus G et al. (2016) Genes & Dev. 30:2152-2157  

A high-throughput in vivo micronucleus assay for genome instability screening in mice. full text

Balmus G et al. (2015) Nature protocols 10;1;205-15

Disease severity in a mouse model of ataxia telangiectasia is modulated by the DNA damage checkpoint gene Hus1. full text

Balmus G et al. (2012) Human molecular genetics 2012;21;15;3408-20

Cross-species chromosome painting among camel, cattle, pig and human: further insights into the putative Cetartiodactyla ancestral karyotype. full text

Balmus G, Trifonov VA et al. (2007). Chromosome Research 15: 499–514.