Projects in the Trakselis laboratory center on understanding 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, and helicases involed in aspects of double strand break repair. Many of these enzymes are targets for cancer therapies, but we are also interested in links between infertility and cancer.