Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, UW School of Medicine and Public Health

Current Members

Keck Lab Winter 2020

L-R: Alex, Sarah, Brian, Isabelle, Jim, Rachel, Aidan, Nina

Principal Investigator

James L. Keck

Department of Biomolecular Chemistry
Associate Dean for Basic Sciences (UW SMPH)

Affiliated with:



Kenneth Satyshur

Associate Scientist


Graduate Students

Aidan McKenzie

5th Year IPiB Student

Research Bio: My work in the Keck Lab focuses on an essential process in bacteria called DNA replication restart which rescues abandoned replication forks by reloading the DNA replication machinery. I use next generation sequencing (NGS) and classical genetic methods to elucidate the cellular mechanisms of DNA replication restart and structural techniques to study the specific process of reloading the replicative helicase at abandoned replication forks.

Alex Duckworth

4th Year IPiB Student

Research Bio: My research in the Keck Lab focuses on the biochemical and structural mechanisms of DNA Replication Restart, an essential genome maintenance process in bacteria which functions to initiate origin-independent DNA replication. I use biochemical assays, including helicase assays with radiolabeled DNA substrates, to probe the mechanisms of the PriA helicase, a protein that facilitates Replication Restart. I also use structural methods, including x-ray crystallography and electron microscopy, to study Replication Restart protein complexes.

Rachel Cueny

3rd Year IPiB Student

Research Bio: My work in the Keck lab focuses on guanine quadruplexes (G4s), which are DNA or RNA secondary structures that appear to have roles in regulating DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Using a chemical-genetic screen, I am working to elucidate the role of G4s in bacteria as well as determine the genes that are essential for G4 processing. I am also working to further understand the mechanisms of G4 unwinding by various G4 helicases.

Sarah McMillan

2nd Year IPiB Student

Nina Bonde

2nd Year IPiB Student (co-mentored with Michael Cox)

Undergraduate Students
Isabelle Hoernke

Junior Biology Undergrad

Katelien Blumenthal

Junior Biochemistry Undergrad