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

Current Members

Keck Lab Spring 2022

Left to right, top to bottom: Andrew, Aidan, Kat, Kaushik, Sarah, Alex, Rachel, Jim, Joey, Haley, Nina

Principal Investigator

James L. Keck

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

Affiliated with:

Graduate Students

Alex Duckworth

5th 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.

Andrew Sung

5th Year CMB Student (co-mentored with Dave Pagliarini)

Research Bio: My research focuses on mitochondria, which are the powerhouse of the cell. I am interested in better understanding the process by which Complex I (CI) of the mitochondrial respiratory chain is assembled. Specifically, I am studying the poorly characterized CI assembly factor NDUFAF6, using a mix of proteomic, genetic, and biophysical approaches to elucidate its biochemical function in the context of CI assembly.

Rachel Cueny

4th 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

3rd Year IPiB Student

Research Bio: My work in the Keck Lab focuses on guanine quadruplexes (G4s), noncanonical DNA or RNA secondary structures that play a role in regulating replication, transcription and translation. Using biochemical and genetic screens, I am identifying proteins that can interact with G4s in the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Additionally, I am biochemically characterizing proteins that are involved in DNA replication restart, an essential process in bacteria, through helicase assays with radiolabeled DNA substrates.

Nina Bonde

3rd Year IPiB Student (co-mentored with Michael Cox)

Research Bio: My research focuses on understanding how single-stranded DNA gaps that are created when DNA lesions are skipped over during genome replication are repaired. I use a variety of high-throughput sequencing, biochemical, and structural approaches to understand the genetic and protein-protein interactions that occur during postreplicative DNA gap repair.

Haley Deorio

2nd Year IPiB Student

Research Bio: My research focuses on understanding the regulatory mechanisms of restarting failed DNA replication reactions in E. coli. By using single-molecule, biochemical, and structural approaches, my work will specifically characterize the PriA-PriB replication restart pathway.

Undergraduate Students

Jadon Tan

Sophomore at UW Madison


Kenneth Satyshur

Associate Scientist

Joseph Larson

Research Specialist