Headed by Christian Speck, the DNA Replication Group was established in 2006 with the aim of discovering new mechanisms in the initiation and elongation of DNA replication and understanding the function of replication factors in hetero-chromatin formation and epigenetic memory.


Group News

VACANCY: Research associate in genomics (MED02897)

Reference: MED02897 Date posted: 14 December 2021 Closing date: 23 January 2022 Applications are invited for a full-time research associate position in... read more

VACANCY: Research associate in biochemistry and structural biology (MED02896)

Reference: MED02896 Date posted: 14 December 2021 Closing date: 23 January 2022 Applications are invited for a full-time research associate position in... read more

Matthew Peach joins the Group

Matthew Peach joins the group as a PhD student.  Welcome Matt! read more

Ki Him Nicholas Chiang joins the Group

Ki Him Nicholas Chiang, a biotechnology undergraduate at Imperial College London, joins the Group as a summer student intern.... read more

New paper on the molecular mechanism in the licensing of eukaryotic replication origins

Feng, X., Noguchi, Y., Barbon, M., Stillman, B., Speck, C., Li, H. (2021). The structure of ORC-Cdc6 on an... read more

New Talos F200i microscope

The Institute got a brand new Thermo Scientific™ Talos™ F200i S/TEM microscope and said goodbye to the Philips CM200.  ... read more

Josh Tomkins joins the Group

Josh Tomkins joined the Group as a PhD student. Welcome Josh! read more

Marina Ivanova and Lepakshi Ranjha join the Group

Marina Ivanova and Lepakshi Ranjha joined the Group as postdoctoral fellows.  A big welcome to both! read more

New paper on the structural mechanism of helicase loading

Yuan, Z., Schneider, S., Dodd, T., Riera, A., Bai, L., Yan, C., Magdalou, I., Ivanov, I., Stillman, B., Li,... read more

Group awarded BBSRC project grant

The Group's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grant application was successful! Huge congratulations to Sarah Schneider, Almutasem... read more

Data collected using new Titan Krios cryo-TEM

First data collected using the London Consortium for cryo-EM's (LonCEM's) new Titan Krios Cryo Transmission Electron Microscope with the... read more

Shenaz Allyjaun and Jessica Ellins join the Group

Shenaz Allyjaun and Jessica Ellins join the Group as PhD students.  Welcome Shenaz and Jessica! read more

Group Milestones


PNAS 117, 17747-17756
Insights into the structural mechanism of helicase loading onto replication origin DNA by ORC-Cdc6


PNAS 114, E9529-E9538
Cryo-EM structure of Mcm2-7 double hexamer on DNA suggests a lagging-strand DNA extrusion model

Nature Structure & Molecular Biology 24, 316-324
Elucidation of the structural basis of MCM2-7 replicative helicase loading by ORC-Cdc6 and Cdt1


Genes & Development 28, 2291-2303
Elucidation of the MCM2-7 double-hexamer structure reveals key mechanism in helicase loading and activation

Genes & Development 28, 1653-1666
Identification of the DNA entry gate of the MCM2-7 helicase during helicase loading


Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 20, 944-951
Characterisation of the first structure of an eukaryotic replicative helicase in complex with its loading factors

Molecular Cell 50, 577-588
Identification of a novel ATPase-dependent pre-RC intermediate that is surveyed by a quality control mechanism for genomic stability

Nucleic Acids Research 41, 3162-3172
Discovery of a pre-RC intermediate that forms in the absence of ATP-hydrolysis and contains one copy of all 18 pre-RC factors


PNAS 106, 20240-20245
Reconstitution of pre-RC formation and discovery of the MCM2-7 double hexamer as a central DNA replication intermediate


The Journal of Biological Chemistry 282, 11705-11714
Identification of an ATPase-dependent mechanism that allows sequence specific recognition of the DNA replication origin


Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 12, 965-971
Elucidation of the ORC-Cdc6 complex structure and its sequence specific origin binding activity


The EMBO Journal 20, 1469-1476
Identification of key mechanism in initiation of DNA replication in bacteria


The EMBO Journal 18, 6169-6176
Discovery of an ATP dependent mechanism to coordinate initiation of DNA replication with transcriptional regulation in bacteria