Projects in the Trakselis laboratory center on understanding and revealing the molecular mechanisms of DNA replication and repair and exploiting this knowledge for cancer therapeutics, biotechnology, and nanoscale applications. We utilize diverse DNA replication and repair systems across all domains of life and attempt to compare similarities and exploit differences for a better understanding of these essential processes. We employ a variety of interdisciplinary techniques spanning from chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology. Current projects include mechanisms of DNA unwinding by hexameric helicases, kinetic and molecular steps of polymerase substitutions that occur during translesion synthesis, alternative DNA helicases involved in replication fork progression, and mass spectrometry of protein-DNA complexes. Many of these enzymes are targets of cancer therapies and antiproliferation, but we are also interested in links between recombination, infertility, and cancer.