Christian Speck

Christian Speck

Group Head

Christian was born in Berlin, Germany. He received his PhD in 2000 from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany for his work on the mechanisms of DnaA in initiation of DNA replication and in dnaA transcription regulation in Escherichia coli in the laboratory of Walter Messerat at the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany. He identified a novel DNA binding sequence for DnaA and found that DnaA binds in an ATP-dependent manner to single-stranded DNA. Christian then joined Bruce Stillman's group at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA to do postdoctoral work on the reconstitution and characterisation of the ORC-Cdc6-origin DNA complex in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In collaboration with Huilin Li, Christian described the first 3D structure of ORC and the ORC-Cdc6 complex. Christian now leads the DNA Replication Group at the Institute of Clinical Sciences, located on the Hammersmith Campus of Imperial College London. His research focus is on the reconstitution of DNA replication and structural characterisation of the DNA replication machine. He aims to use the knowledge gained from the initiation of DNA replication to design small molecule inhibitors, which could be more specific and less carcinogenic than conventional chemotherapeutic agents. Christian enjoys cooking, bicycling and playing with his kids.

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