Rajvee Shah Punatar


Rajvee has been a member of the DNA Recombination and Repair laboratory of senior group leader Dr Stephen West for the last 20 years. The lab was originally based at CRUK's London Research Institute (Clare Hall), but then relocated to the Francis Crick Institute in 2016

The lab's research is focussed on studying a DNA repair process known as homologous recombination (HR), that rejoins broken chromosomes after DNA has been damaged.  Failure to repair this damage can cause cells to stop growing or die and can even lead to cancer.

Rajvee has a strong background in biochemistry and molecular biology and purified a number of proteins involved in HR such as the bacterial resolvase RuvC, human RAD51 recombinase, the human RAD51 paralog proteins, and the human RAD54 protein. Rajvee is also an expert in making plasmid-based DNA substrates which contain Holliday junctions, known as recombination intermediates. Over the last four years, she has used these recombination intermediates to study the activity of a number of HR proteins in vitro, these include the GEN1 resolvase,  the SMX tri-nuclease complex and also the DNA mismatch repair protein MutSb.  Her work has helped to reveal new insights into how these proteins function and has resulted in publications as listed below.

Apart from her research work and carrying out regular lab management and administrative duties, Rajvee plays an active role in the wider Crick Community. She is a member of the Crick Biological and Radiological Safety Committee, the Crick Security Forum and the Laboratory Research Scientist (LRS) Network committee. Rajvee is also an elected LRS Staff Representative on the Crick Staff Consultative Forum.

In 2020, Rajvee applied for professional registration and achieved Chartered Scientist status with membership of The Royal Society of Biology.

Training: Rajvee completed her PhD studies in the laboratory of Prof James Scott (MRC Clinical Research Centre, Hammersmith Hospital), where she studied the mammalian mRNA-editing enzyme, APOBEC-1. She was then awarded an ICRF Research Fellowship in the lab of Dr Stephen West (ICRF Clare Hall laboratories, UK) where she characterised the bacterial RuvC resolvase. This was followed by an MRC fellowship in the lab of Dr Leland Johnson (Division of Yeast Genetics, National Institute for Medical Research, London) where she studied the biochemical and genetic function of the budding yeast Spo12 protein during mitotic exit. In 2000, she joined the lab of lab of Dr Stephen West (CRUK Clare Hall laboratories, UK), as a permanent member of staff.


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Last updated : 02 February 2023 03:02