Dr. Geeta Narlikar obtained her Ph.D in Chemistry at Stanford University and carried out postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF since 2003. Dr. Narlikar studies how the folding and compartmentalization of our genome is regulated to generate the many cell types that make up our body. Her laboratory has pioneered the application of sophisticated biophysical approaches to study the mechanisms of macromolecules that regulate genome organization. Through these studies they are learning (i) how nanoscale molecular motors use chemical energy to cause mechanical disruptions in the packaged genome, (ii) that the smallest unit of genome folding, a nucleosome, acts akin to a dynamic receptor rather than a static packaging unit and, (iii) that liquid-liquid phase separation processes can help organize and sequester large regions of the genome. These types of discoveries from the Narlikar laboratory are changing textbook descriptions of genome packaging and suggesting new avenues to tackle diseases caused by defects in genome organization. Dr. Narlikar has received different awards including the Beckman Young Investigator Award (2006), the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award (2008), the Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award by the UCSF Graduate Students Association (2011) and the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging (2018).
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