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

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.

Andrew Sung

4th 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

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

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

2nd 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

1st Year IPiB Student

Research Bio: To be determined!

Undergraduate Students
Katelien Blumenthal

Senior Biochemistry Undergrad

Kaushik Kancharla

Senior Biochemistry Undergrad


Kenneth Satyshur

Associate Scientist

Joseph Larson

Associate Research Specialist