Recognizing Plant Cell first authors: Jason Sims

Jason Sims, first author of Meiotic DNA repair in the nucleolus employs a non-homologous end joining mechanism

Current Position: Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Vienna / MFPL

Education: PhD in molecular biology, special doctoral program in Chromosome Dynamics, from the University of Vienna / MFPL

Non-Scientific Interests: travelling, learning foreign languages, spending time with my family

Brief Bio: During my undergraduate studies at the University of Trieste and at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) I got interested in chromosomes and their dynamics within the cell. I initially worked on chromosome translocations in yeast and their impact on the overall cell fitness. I was fascinated by the ability of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to adapt to gross chromosomal rearrangement events. My strong interest in chromosomes motivated me to contact Dr. Peter Schlögelhofer and be part of the special doctorate program in Chromosome Dynamics at the university Vienna. This gave me the opportunity to be embedded in a highly dynamic and motivating environment. During my PhD studies in the Schlögelhofer lab I investigated how could repetitive regions, such as the rDNA, be properly segregated and maintained from one generation to the next. This brought me to the discovery that the rDNA, unlike any other genomic region, is repaired by the error prone Non-Homologous End Joining (NHEJ) pathway rather than meiotic recombination, ensuring a stable inheritance of the rDNA.